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Dublin: 10°C Wednesday 12 May 2021

Video: An asteroid the size of a cruise ship passed over Ireland last night

But it was never going to hit earth, thankfully.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

LAST NIGHT, WHILE much of Ireland was asleep, an asteroid the size of a cruise ship passed over the country.

But, before you start envisaging Bruce Willis and turgid Aerosmith songs, this asteroid had no chance of plummeting to earth, passing 750,000 miles from earth. While that is relatively close, it is still around three times the distance of the moon from earth.

It was well known that this large space rock would sail harmlessly by our planet but it gave astronomers a rare opportunity to study such a large asteroid up close.

Ireland had a front row seat for the encounter and Raheny Observatory captured images of the asteroid as it travelled through space at over 56,000 km/hour. The video sequence was taken from from the telescopes at Raheny at 10.59pm last night.

David Grennan, Director of Raheny Observatory said, “Thankfully there was never any danger of a collision with this asteroid but it reminds us that we need to remain vigilant.

“There are still undiscovered asteroids out there large enough to cause widespread devastation. The good news is that, thanks to the efforts of astronomers worldwide we can now be pretty certain that there is no ‘Armageddon’ asteroid coming our way in the near future”

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