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Asteroid Zooms Past Earth

A NASA image shows asteroid 2005 YU55
An asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier has zoomed past Earth.

With a diameter estimated at 400 meters, Asteroid 2005 YU 55 is the biggest asteroid to make a close pass by Earth since 1976.

During its closest approach, it was inside the orbit of the moon, about 322,000 kilometers above the planet.

It posed no threat to either Earth or the moon.

Thousands of professional and amateur astronomers were tracking the asteroid with telescopes, seeking to learn more about what it is made of, how fast it spins, and ultimately, where it came from.

compiled from agency reports