Traveling at a speed of more than 23,000mph, a massive, asteroid named 2014-YB35, glided past the Earth on Friday.
Of the eight times such a massive asteroid has passed the Earth in the past century, this was the closest it has come.
The asteroid passed within 2.8 million miles -- a tiny distance in astronomical terms.
It is fairly common for small meteorites to pass close by; however, one of this size poses a very real threat. Any impact would result in drastic climatic changes, causing earthquakes and tsunamis too.
READ: The 2015 PDC Hypothetical Asteroid Impact Scenario
Bill Napier, professor of astronomy at the University of Buckinghamshire, said there is a "very real risk" of a comet or damaging asteroid hitting Earth.
“With something like YB35, we are looking at a scale of global destruction, something that would pose a risk to the continuation of the planet. "These events are, however, very rare; it is the smaller yet still very damaging impacts which are a very real threat," he added.
READ: Asteroid 2014 YB35 to safely flyby Earth on Friday, March 27, 2015
Experts warn it is not long until an asteroid capable of “life-altering” damage strikes our planet.
The Catalina Sky Survey initially spotted 2014-YB35 at the end of last year with astronomers reported to be closely examining its progress this week.
READ: NASA Announces Next Steps on Journey to Mars: Progress on Asteroid Initiative
If it had hit Earth, plumes of debris would have been thrown into the atmosphere, changing the climate and potentially making the planet inhabitable for all life.
The least plausible damage would have been the destruction of cities.
This article originally appeared on Mirror
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