First photos of asteroid 2011 MD as it makes its very close pass by Earth



These are the first photos of asteroid 2011 MD as it makes its very close pass by Earth. The asteroid passed at only 7,600 miles above the Earth's surface. It is about 5-20 meters in diameter and in an orbit similar to Earth's around the Sun. Extra observations have determined that this object is not a space junk (as suggested early one). Bill Gray is notorious expert in orbital dynamics. He determined that 2011 MD could not have been close enough to Earth before.



At the moment of it's closest approach, 2011 MD was bright as magnitude ~11.8.
Although 2011 MD was pretty close, the record of nearby passing asteroids is held by 2011 CQ1. It came within 5,840 KM of Earth on 4th Feb 2011.