"On Friday, a metre-sized asteroid called 2011 CQ1 was spotted zipping only 5480 kilometres above the Earth's surface. That is the closest near miss on record, beating the previous record holder, a rock that buzzed Earth in 2004 called 2004 FU162, by a few hundred kilometres.
When something that small comes close to our planet, Earth's gravity is sure to bend its orbit. In this case, the approach was so close that the little asteroid's path bent by 60 degrees, reports Don Yeomans of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Short of collisions with a planet, that's the biggest orbital change ever recorded by observers. It was large enough to shift the asteroid from one category of objects into another..."