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Record-setting asteroid zoomed past Earth — missing by just 240 miles, NASA announces
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Record-setting asteroid zoomed past Earth — missing by just 240 miles, NASA announces

The asteroid was the size of a pickup truck.

Science & Tech

An asteroid the size of a pickup truck flew by Earth last week, setting the record for the closest asteroid to zoom by the planet without hitting it, NASA said.

An asteroid known as 2020 VT4 passed by Earth on Nov. 13, according to the Center for Near-Earth Studies, NASA’s center for monitoring asteroid and comet orbits.

NASA’s Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System tweeted Monday that the asteroid measured 5-10 meters and was within 240 miles of Earth’s surface.

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2020 VT4 is a Near-Earth Object, but isn’t “potentially hazardous” given its size. NASA defines “potentially hazardous” NEOs as those that measure more than 460 feet in diameter and come within 0.05 astronomical units, or about 4.65 million miles.

In August, an SUV-sized asteroid flew 1,830 miles from Earth and was the then-closest asteroid to pass by Earth, McClatchy News reported.