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Asteroid will buzz Earth, miss by 17,150 miles

3:56 AM, Feb 15, 2013   |    comments
Credit: AP/file.
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MARCIA DUNN
AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A 150-foot asteroid is almost here.

The asteroid will make the closest known flyby for an object of its size Friday afternoon. NASA promises it will miss Earth by 17,150 miles. But that's closer than many communication and weather satellites.

The asteroid will be too faint to see with the naked eye. The best viewing locations, with binoculars and telescopes, will be in Asia, Australia and Eastern Europe.

As asteroids go, this is a shrimp. The one that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago was 6 miles across. But this rock could still pack a wallop, wiping out 750 square miles if it struck.

Scientists are certain it won't impact Earth. And chances are extremely remote it will run into any of the satellites orbiting 22,300 miles up.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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