2011MD Asteroid to Glide Past South Atlantic Today

Asteroid 2011MD, measuring about 10 to 50 yards, will be passing Earth on Monday at a distance close enough to have drawn the interest of scientists.

This distance is approximately 30 times closer to Earth than the existing distance between the planet and the moon, which is approximately 240,000 miles.

At 7,500 miles or 12,000 kilometers, the asteroid poses no real threat to the planet but since it will be flying at the same level several satellites’ orbits are located, NASA announced chances of it hitting one of them.

Even if the asteroid entering the Earth was to be put in perspective, it wouldn’t get far.

According to Skymania news, Dr. Emily Baldwin, a U.K. asteroid expert, shared “if it did enter the atmosphere, an asteroid this size would mostly burn up in a brilliant fireball, possibly scattering a few meteorites.”

2011MD will be crossing the South Atlantic skies at about 1 p.m. and will be viewable although no more than a flash of light followed by a quick fading away is expected.

When it travels by on Monday, it will be the fifth closest any asteroid has shaved past by earth.

The closest any asteroid ever got to sail past Earth was 2011 CQ1 with a distance of 3,405 miles. View the spectacular fire-ball photo here.

AsteroidPhoto: Reuters/Ali JarekjiAn asteroid like this is set to sail past Earth on Monday, June 27, 2011. Meteors (L, top and bottom, red) streak past stars in the night sky near Amman, in the early hours of August 12, 2005.