There's no chance it will strike Earth, NASA says, but a bus-sized asteroid is whizzing by Earth today just 7,600 miles away -- a close call on the cosmic scale.

It's called asteroid "2011 MD" and it's nearest Earth just after noon, about 1 p.m., according to NASA estimates. (Original estimates put it at 9:30 a.m., but even asteroid experts have to recalculate, sometimes.)

Julie Hoogland of the Grand Rapids Press writes it's the fifth-closest recorded asteroid event, according to Minor Planet Center’s ranking charts. calls the fly-by 'extremely close."

"One would expect an object of this size to come this close to Earth about every 6 years on average," according to NASA.

From certain locations in the southern hemisphere, the asteroid will be bright enough to briefly be seen with a modest-sized telescope.

NASA has more information available at their "Asteroid Watch" page, and at the Near Earth Object Program. -- which says the Earth's impact on the asteroid will be to "Bend it Like Beckham." Really. NASA said that.

E-mail Julie Hoogland: and follow her on Twitter at


Sponsored Links


Share this story
Print Email Story tools


More stories in Grand Rapids Living

Comments Feed

Post a comment

Sign in to




Remember me?

Don't have an account?

Register now for free, or sign in with any of these services:

Sponsored By:

We want you to write for Grand Rapids Living!

<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript"> document.write('<a href="" target="_blank"><img src=""/></a>'); </script><noscript><a href="" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="" /></a></noscript>

Most Active Users

What's this?

Users with the most comments in the last 7 days
mushmorton mushmorton
dmbierlein dmbierlein
Kevin Rahe Kevin Rahe
 stir fried shemp stir fried shemp
ridusofgovt ridusofgovt