A nice asteroid, 69 alligators long, passed by the Earth this week

The Jerusalem Post reports that asteroid 2023 CM, which passed by the Earth on Tuesday, March 14, was approximately the size of 69 American alligators. "For those asking in advance, the metric used is total length, not a specific part of the gator's body," the newspaper clarified.

More from the Post's handy metric decision making:

Even at its smallest estimates, this massive asteroid is clocking in at 140 meters wide – enough to meet one of the criteria of being potentially hazardous. But its maximum possible diameter is a whopping 320 meters.

To measure this in more America-friendly terms, the adult male American alligator, commonly found throughout parts of the US South and in many memes about the state of Florida, can grow on average to be around 4.6 meters in length.

This means that asteroid 2023 CM's diameter is as much as 69 American alligators laying snout to tail in a row.

Curiously, Asteroid 2023 CM arrived almost exactly on year after Asteroid 2022 EB, which the Post also noted at the time as being approximately half the size of a giraffe. This should not be confused with the space rock that landed in Texas last month, which, also according to The Jerusalem Post, was about the size of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the weight of four baby elephants.

Look, I can't say I follow The Jerusalem Post very closely. I know nothing about the general bent of its reporting, or its reputation within Israel, or here in the States. But I do know that it's a real newspaper. And so I have to condemn journalist Aaron Reich for really carving out a niche for himself on the Bizarre Animal Comparison For Celestial Bodies beat.

Meanwhile, NPR reported that Asteroid 2023 CM was "roughly the size of an Olympic swimming pool," a comparison which is boring without really being that much more helpful than "69 alligators," not to mention much less nice.

Asteroid the size of 69 American alligators to pass Earth Tuesday – NASA [Aaron Reich / Jerusalem Post]