Nobody saw little asteroid 2020QG coming, but it whipped by our planet as close as anything we’ve ever seen that was able to keep on going.

According to NASA’s database of near Earth objects, the car-sized space rock flew by at about 4,778 miles from the center of our planet. That means it could have been less than 1,000 miles above our heads at its closest point, lower in altitude than pretty much all artificial satellites in orbit.

It currently owns the space for closest close approach in the database, which stretches back a century.

Now for the kicker – 2020 QG, which also went by the identifier ZTF0DxQ before getting an official catalog entry, wasn’t spotted by an observatory until hours after the moment of closest approach on Sunday.

While this might sound disconcerting, it’s not actually much to worry about as this asteroid likely posed no threat even if it had slammed into Earth’s atmosphere.

NASA estimates 2020 QG to have a diameter of about 10-20 feet. That makes it roughly the size of a Tesla Model 3, which makes you wonder for a second if the car Elon Musk famously launched towards Mars might have activated its autonomous boosters and attempted to make its way home.

If a Tesla, or just about anything else that size collided with Earth, it would likely burn up as it met with the serious resistance provided by our atmosphere.

A couple years ago, a comparably sized asteroid dubbed 2018 LA was spotted before it actually did impact Earth. It’s believed that only the tiniest bits made it to the ground in Africa, causing no reported damage or injuries.

For some context, the bolide that surprised the world when it exploded in the sky over Russia in 2013, blowing out thousands of windows below, was likely at least ten times larger than 2020QG.

That asteroid also avoided early detection, but the good news is that astronomers and automated sky surveys are getting better at scanning the skies for incoming threats.

We still have blind spots, however, particularly in the southern hemisphere, which is where it appears this asteroid made its close fly-by.

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