SYDNEY, Australia — Australian astronomers said Friday they have discovered an asteroid several hundred yards long that crossed the Earth's orbital path in June.
The asteroid, temporarily named 1990MU, came within 1.2 million miles of the Earth's surface and intersected the planet's path around the sun.
It was found by astronomers Robert McNaught and Duncan Olsson-Steel, using telescopes at the Siding Spring Observatory near Coonabarabran, New South Wales.
They estimate 1990MU to be hundreds of yards long and say it should cross the Earth's path again in two years.
About 70 asteroids crossing the Earth's path have been found, but scientists estimate that at least 1,000 exist. Most asteroids in the solar system are grouped between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.