The European Space Agency (ESA) craft named Rosetta, designed to chase comets, flew within 1,900 miles of the 83 mile wide asteroid Lutetia to get some close-up pictures of the surface. Scientists have puzzled over the composition of Lutetia (the Latin name for Paris) since it was discovered some 150 years ago, and their aim is to work out whether the asteroid, which is currently more than 282 million miles from Earth, is either made of rock and carbon or is a metallic one.
Hopefully this new information gained by Rosetta during its fly-by will provide scientists with new information about the composition of giant asteroids and how the solar system formed.
More importantly, they also hope to gain a new perspective on the potential threat such asteroids may pose to the Earth in the future, and thus develop strategies that might be able to divert them from a collision course.
Find out more by taking a look at the ESA website.