It would seem that our Planet narrowly escaped a devastating blow on the 14th of June! An asteroid the size of a football pitch broke the Moon's Orbit and passed a mere 120,000 KM from the Earth!!!
Had the asteroid, named 2002MN, with a diameter of 50-120 Metres actually hit us, it would have caused damage on a scale similar to that of the Tunguska strike in 1908... That is 2000 square kilometres, folks!
One of the Scariest facts in this Frightening Fly-By is that "Linear" (The Lincoln Laboratory Near Earth Asteroid Search Programme) in New Mexico only spotted our stealthy visitor After it had passed!!!
Apparantly they were blinded by the Sun, which, due to its brightness, meant that the Asteroid was completely hidden from view until about 1 hour after its passing.
The Angel on our shoulder, Hubble, being a space based observatory, would seem to be the only means of warning against an Asteroid made invisible to us by the Sun.
I guess we are all lucky that a second space based Telescope, "European Gaia," is set for launch in 2010. Its design lends itself perfectly to this kind of problem!