Asteroid 2012 BX34 came within about 37,000 miles of Earth on Friday, January 27. That’s about 1/6 the distance from here to the moon.
It was just a close-shave, and fairly small. Not very dangerous as far as asteroids go. But the experience has sparked interest in an international collaboration to prepare us for when a larger asteroid decides to shave a little too close.
It’s called NEOShield, or Near-Earth Object Shield. The project will test out various ways of deflecting asteroids, and they’ll be looking at three potential methods: “the kinetic impactor, blast deflection and the gravity tractor.”
Hopefully, if all goes well, they’ll be able to figure out a way to prevent this from happening: