Category: Tech / Sci / February 8, 2013 6:18 PM EST
NASA announced on Thursday that a small asteroid will pass closer to Earth than the TV satellites that ring around the planet, but there is no chance of an impact.
The asteroid, known as 2012 DA14, is expected to come as close as 17,100 miles from Earth during Feb. 15 approach.
The Olympic swimming pool sized object was discovered last year by a group of amateur Spanish astronomers.
The encounter will be the closest to Earth on record since scientists began routinely monitoring asteroids over 15 years ago.
NASA scientists believe there is no chance of a collision.
"There's really nothing to be worried about when this asteroid passes the earth on February 15th. We understand its orbit extremely well and we can say with great confidence that there is no chance of hitting the Earth and the chances of hitting the satellite are negligible," says astronomer Donald Yeomans, with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
The asteroid should hit its closest point at 2:24 p.m. EST on Feb 15th.
We are lucky the asteroid will miss Earth, because at the speed DA14 will be traveling, roughly 8 miles per second, a collision with Earth would strike with the force of roughly 2.4 million tons of dynamite.
Video Source: Reuters