An asteroid discovered Tuesday (April 9) will make an extremely close but harmless pass by Earth today (April 11).

Asteroid 2024 GJ2 is roughly the size of a car. Since its discovery this week, astronomers have calculated that the space rock will graze by Earth at a mere 12 thousand-mile (19.3-thousand-kilometer) distance—that’s just three percent the distance between the Earth and the moon.

According to the European Space Agency (ESA), 2024 GJ2 measures between 2.5 and 5 meters (8.2 and 16 feet). This means it’s an asteroid with a weight class that would have burned up in Earth’s atmosphere if its orbit happened to intersect ours more directly.


Astronomers believe the asteroid’s closest approach distance to Earth will occur at 2:28:42 p.m. EDT (18:28:42 GMT) on Thursday, at a distance of 11,600 miles (18,700 kilometers).

That’s closer than some geostationary satellites in orbits just over 22,236 miles (35,785 km) above Earth. According to ESA’s near-Earth objects coordination center, the next closest flyby of 2024 GJ2 will occur in 2093.

When that happens, the asteroid won’t pass nearly as close as it will today. GJ2’s 2093 approach is estimated to fly as close as 127,970 miles (205,947 kilometers) to us — 10 times further than today’s flyby and just over half the distance between Earth and the moon.