Large Asteroid Passes Near to Earth

A peanut-shaped asteroid 1.3 kilometres (3,280 feet) across streaked past Earth, giving astronomers a rare chance to check out a big space rock up close.

Named as 2014-JO25, the asteroid came nearest and is now hurtling away from the centre of our solar system.

The Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico — which has one of the world’s biggest radio telescopes — captured the 2014 JO25’s first images, showing an object that is likely “two large asteroids that fused together”.

Large asteroids passing this close to Earth remain a rarity. The next one will pass by in 2027, a 800-metre long object that will come within” one Earth-to-the-Moon distance.

The last time 2014-JO25 was in our vicinity was 400 years ago, and its next close encounter with Earth won’t happen until sometime after 2600.