Home Today Years Ago August 13, 1898: First Near-Earth Asteroid Discovered
August 13, 1898: First Near-Earth Asteroid Discovered
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August 13, 1898: First Near-Earth Asteroid Discovered

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Today in 1898, the first near-Earth object, asteroid 433 Eros, was discovered by astronomer Carl Gustav Witt in Berlin, Germany. Eros was also the first asteroid to be studied from orbit in 1998. It is roughly 16.8 km (a little over 10 miles) wide, making it about 5 times larger than the asteroid that cause the extinction of the dinosaurs. It is a potential Earth impactor, but that wouldn’t happen for eons, if at all.