Asteroid DA14 to whizz by Earth today as Russian meteor fuels internet frenzy



The Telegraph – by Tom Phillips

Scientists continued to assure nervous Earthlings the end was not nigh on Friday, as a meteorite event in Russia sparked a renewed bout of nervousness and speculation over an impending close-encounter with a 45m asteroid.

The giant rock – known as Asteroid 2012 DA14 – was identified last February by Spanish astronomers. Today it was hurtling towards Earth at around 17,400 miles per hour.

DA14 is expected to conduct a rare fly-by of planet earth at around 5pm GMT today, at its closest speeding over Indonesia around 17,200 miles from the Earth’s surface. The fly-over is set to be the closest on record for an asteroid of this size.

Scientists insist there is no risk DA14 will hit Earth and say even a collision with a satellite is highly unlikely.

“There is no chance it might collide with Earth,” a statement on Nasa’s homepage read on Friday.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/9873110/Asteroid-DA14-to-whizz-by-Earth-today-as-Russian-meteor-fuels-internet-frenzy.html

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