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  Football pitch-sized asteroid misses Earth
Updated 21 June 2002, 10.10

An asteroid the size of a football pitch has narrowly missed Earth.

It came within 75,000 miles of the planet - the closest near miss ever recorded.

  Click here for our space guide

That makes it the biggest recorded asteroid to come in contact with the Earth's orbit.

One scientist even called it a "close shave."

Fact File
Facts about asteroids
Are made out of rock or metal
Are scattered throughout the Solar System
Vary in size from under a mile to over 600 miles in diameter!
Are mostly found near Mars and Jupiter
Are also known as minor planets

Known as 2002MN, it flew past the Earth on 14 June, but it remained unnoticed by astronomers until the 17th.

And experts are concerned that it could have remained undiscovered for so long.

But the space rock is considered small when compared with many other asteroids and would not have caused damage on a global scale.

A similar sized object flattened a 20-mile-wide patch of Siberian forest in 1908.



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