Asteroid 467460 Passes by Earth – The Size of a Building: An asteroid the size of a building passed by our planet at a safe distance reported Space. It was officially named 467460 (2006 JF42). This asteroid was 5.7 million kilometers away from our planet. As of July 2017, this asteroid had only been observed twice, once in 2013 and another time in 2016, each time by astronomers using the Pan-STARRS telescope located in Hawaii.

What is an Asteroid?

While many people refer to asteroids as minor planets, they are not planets at all. They are rocky bodies that orbit our sun, but they have not cleared other objects out of their orbital path.

Asteroids may have formed in many different ways than planets did, and it can be hard to determine exactly what happened when an asteroid came together billions of years ago.

Some scientists think asteroids were created from leftover material after planet formation was complete; others believe asteroids formed along with planets.

Today, there are more than 600,000 known asteroids in our solar system. Most of them circle between Mars and Jupiter. Some even cross into Earth’s orbit—and some collide with our planet on occasion!

These collisions do not happen often—but they do happen . . . every few million years or so.

What do we know about Asteroid 2006 JF42?

First discovered in 2006, Asteroid 467460 (2006 JF42) is an asteroid in orbit around our sun. It is between 7-16 meters long and moves at a speed of 18 km/s.

For perspective, it takes approximately 8 minutes for light to travel from Earth to Mars and 40 years for signals sent to and from Voyager 1, which is currently traveling away from our solar system at 38 km/s.

Asteroid 2006 JF42 will not return until 2036. What do we know about Asteroid 467460?: On Monday night, Asteroid 2006 JF42 passed safely past Earth at a distance of 5.7 million kilometers or 3.5 million miles.

How often do asteroids move closer to Earth?

Depending on how you define close, close is a relative term. We are talking about an object that flew past our planet some 9 million kilometers away.

As CNN puts it, The asteroid is thought to be about 30 meters (98 feet) across but it’s moving so fast — 18 miles per second — that even if it were headed directly toward us, there would still be plenty of time to deflect or destroy it.

NASA estimates that objects as large as 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) in diameter hit Earth every 500,000 years or so. Objects between 100 and 1,000 meters (330 and 3,300 feet) wide strike about once every 1 million years.

What did scientists learn about the asteroid?

Scientists working with NASA’s Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., reported that radar imaging shows that asteroid 467 460 is an elongated object, roughly 3,000 feet (915 meters) long and 1,500 feet (457 meters) wide.

The asteroid has two lobes with a significant amount of angular momentum suggesting it is what’s known as a contact binary. In some cases, these can be unstable or prone to breaking apart.

Radar observations also show that one side of its surface is much smoother than the other, which could mean that one-half may have been molten when it was formed.

This would make sense if one side was once in direct contact with another body.

What will happen next with Asteroid 2006 JF42?

Scientists are predicting that there is only a 1 in 100 million chance that Asteroid 2006 JF42 will collide with earth in 2036.

So, while we may be safe today, that doesn’t mean we’re home free. It also means that scientists still need to learn more about asteroids.

But you know what they say…better safe than sorry! A few years ago an asteroid struck Russia and was recorded on video from multiple angles.

It’s pretty scary to see it come in and hit, so I hope all of us can take a moment today to be thankful for being able to see another day on our beautiful planet! We should take some time out of our busy schedules and appreciate life as it is!

What would happen if an asteroid struck our planet? How would life change? I wonder how many people could survive such an event?

How Large Is Asteroid 2006 JF42?

Estimates of 2006 JF42’s size range from 510 to 650 feet, but it is believed that even these estimates are slightly low. If 2006 JF42 were closer to earth, it would be easily visible to humans without telescopes.

It would be bright enough that you might even be able to see it in daylight. However, as previously mentioned, 2006 JF42 will not approach our planet for another 1 million years.

That being said, astronomers at NASA have suggested that if 2006 JF42 was ever on a collision course with earth, there would be little we could do about it.

In fact, should 2006 JF42 collide with our planet at some point in its future trajectory, scientists believe an extinction-level event would occur due to its massive size and explosive impact on the earth.

Where does Asteroid 2006 JF42 come from?

This asteroid was discovered on June 23, 2006. It was spotted by Japanese astronomers using an 8-inch Schmidt telescope in Hawaii.

Japan’s Hayabusa spacecraft visited a similar object, called 25143 Itokawa, between 2003 and 2010 as part of its mission to gather material from near-Earth objects for further research.

That asteroid is believed to be about 900 meters wide. By comparison, 2006 JF42 is estimated to be somewhere between 1,000 and 2,500 meters wide.

That would make it comparable in size with some of our solar system’s biggest asteroids—though still far smaller than our planet itself (at approximately 12,742 kilometers).


First, I want to give you some real background on asteroids. There are two basic types of asteroids: near-Earth objects (NEOs) and Mars-crossers.

NEOs are asteroids that orbit around our sun and cross into Earth’s path once every several years or so. To date, there are roughly 10,000 known NEOs in our solar system.

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