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Nasa: Asteroid 2014 RC to safely fly past Earth

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The asteroid will be about one-tenth of the distance from Earth to the moon

A small asteroid about the size of a house will fly past Earth on Sunday, US space agency Nasa says.

The asteroid, 2014 RC, was due to pass over New Zealand at 18:18 GMT. It is about 60 ft (18 m) in size.

It will be about 40,000 km (25,000 miles) away, posing no danger to Earth, Nasa said.

While it will be too small at that distance to see with the naked eye, amateur astronomers with telescopes may glimpse it as it passes, Nasa added.

The asteroid was first discovered on 31 August, and, at its closest approach, will be about one-tenth of the distance from the centre of the Earth to the moon, Nasa said in a statement.

It is expected to orbit near Earth again in the future.

In February 2013, a meteorite of a similar size exploded over Chelyabinsk in Central Russia, injuring more than 1,000 people.

Nasa currently tracks more than 11,000 asteroids in orbits that pass relatively close to Earth.

Source: BBCNews

Asteroid to make near-miss fly-by

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An asteroid will pass by the Earth on Friday in something of a cosmic near-miss, making its closest approach at about 1600 GMT.

The asteroid is minuscule relative to the recently photographed asteroid Vesta

The asteroid, estimated to be about 11m (36ft) in diameter, was first detected on Wednesday.

At its closest, the space rock – named 2012 BX34 – will pass within about 60,000km of Earth – less than a fifth of the distance to the Moon.

Astronomers stress that there is no cause for concern.

“It’s one of the closest approaches recorded,” said Gareth Williams, associate director of the US-based Minor Planet Center.

“It makes it in to the top 20 closest approaches, but it’s sufficiently far away… that there’s absolutely no chance of it hitting us,” he told the BBC.

The asteroid’s path makes it the closest space-rock to pass by the Earth since object 2011 MD in June 2011.

Earlier estimates put the asteroid’s closest distance at as little as 20,000km, near the distance at which geostationary satellites reside, but observations by observatories overnight showed it will pass at a more comfortable distance.

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