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Earth Flyby Friday: Huge Asteroid to Bypass Earth

The asteroid is cutting it close. It will pass 17,200 miles from earth, about 1/13th the distance from the Earth to the moon, on Feb. 15.

Things in space can get far out — literally. But sometimes things get a little too close for comfort. 

Thank goodness that's not the case with an asteroid the size of a cruise ship — 2012 DA14 — that Discovery News reports will safely bypass Earth on Feb. 15. But, and there IS a but ... in relative space distances, the asteroid is cutting it close — 17,200 miles from our planet or 1/13th the distance from the Earth to the moon, according to the report. 

The asteroid is coming close enough that Earth's gravitational pull will affect its orbit around the sun, shortening it from 368 days to 317.  

If something the size of Asteroid 2012 DA14 did hit Earth, it would cause crippling damage on a local scale. According to the report, it is believed the object that wiped out a region of forest in Tunguska, Siberia, in 1908 was the approximate size of 2012 DA14. 

Scary stuff, huh? It gets a little scarier. The report says Earth will get hit by a large asteroid and, based on statistics, humans will be here to witness it. With that in mind, we move on to the top 10 ways to stop an asteroid

Are you interested in what happens in the cosmos? What interests you most about space? Tell us in comments. 

 

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