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Chicken Little report: A house-sized asteroid will zip past the Earth in February at a distance less than 14,000 miles.
The asteroid, referred to as 2012 DA14, has a diameter of approximately 45m and an estimated mass of 130,000 tonnes. It was discovered at the start of 2012 and is set to travel between the Earth and our geostationary communication satellites on 15 February 2013. At a distance of just 22,500km this will be the closest asteroid ‘fly by’ in recorded history. Asteroid and comet researchers will be gathering at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando, U.S., to watch the event, but experts say there is no chance of a collision – this time.
The claim that this is the closest “fly by” in recorded history sounds bogus to me, but because of the size of this asteroid the fly-by will nonetheless be quite interesting. Scientists should be able to get a very good look at 2012 DA14 as it goes by.