An asteroid, a Chevy, and Dwayne Johnson walk into a bar...

April 20, 2017

Asteroids are constantly combing through space, and only a small amount come close enough that we Earthlings can see them. But on April 18, we had an asteroid pass closer to Earth than any other in more than a decade.

According to NASA, this asteroid — known as 2014 JO25, or "The Rock" to a few particularly enthusiastic asteroid trackers — has been on scientists' radars since it was discovered three years ago. They assured the masses that there would be no way the asteroid would hit Earth (and, of course, it didn't), but this particular rock was notable for how close it came to our planet.

Now, close is a relative term: It was more than four times the distance from the Earth to the Moon, but that's pretty intimate when it comes to things interacting in space.

While it's hard to get a good picture of an asteroid moving at high speeds at such a far distance, NASA did share that the asteroid was visible "in small optical telescopes for one or two nights before it fades as the distance from Earth rapidly increases." 

The last asteroid to get closer than this was back in September 2004, when a rock named Toutatis came within four lunar distances to the Earth, according to NASA.

The next time "The Rock" is due to pass this close again won't come for another 500 years, so take a good look — this is (most likely, who knows what the future brings) the last and only time you're ever going to see this asteroid.

Above, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory captured some footage of the asteroid as it tumbled past Earth.

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