Eros asteroid makes close approach to Earth

Author: Trent Aric, Meteorologist, taric@local10.com
Published On: Jan 31 2012 08:47:50 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 06 2014 12:03:39 PM EST
MIAMI -

The first near Earth asteroid ever discovered was 433 Eros back in 1898. 

Tuesday January 31st, the asteroid will make history again as it makes its closest approach to Earth since 1975.  Its closest approach will be 16.6 million miles away that is roughly 70 times the moon’s average distance from Earth so there is no danger with Euros passing this close. 

433 Eros orbits Earth and comes within twenty million miles every 1.76 years.

However the next time Eros will get this close is the year 2056.

433 Eros also made history back in 2000 when NASA’s NEAR Shoemaker probe approached the asteroid, orbit Eros and made a soft landing on its surface.  This was the first time a NASA probe had ever orbited an asteroid. 

NEAR sent 160,000 images of 433 Eros back to Earth during that mission.