Connect to share and comment

This asteroid will whiz past Earth at a distance closer than the moon today

But don't be alarmed. NASA says it happens all the time!

Asteroid to pass earth 2014 3 5Enlarge
A meteor from the Geminids meteor shower (streak at top) enters the Earth's atmosphere above Southold, New York, on Dec. 12, 2009. (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

A 100-foot asteroid will soon be whizzing past Earth.

But don’t be alarmed.

NASA said the asteroid, called 2014 DX110, would be 217,000 miles from Earth at its closest point on Wednesday.

That’s set to happen around 4 p.m. EST.

While that is significantly closer than the moon, which orbits the Earth at a distance of about 239,000 miles, it is still far enough away that you don’t need to panic, according to the space agency.

Fortunately the asteroid won’t be visible to the naked eye — if it were, we might be dead — but you can watch its approach streamed live by Slooh Community Observatory.

Such close shaves, astronomically speaking, are not uncommon. NASA estimates about 20 asteroids come this close every year.

You might remember the slightly smaller asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk in Russia just over a year ago. According to NASA, that “relatively small asteroid,” estimated to have been about 62 feet wide, released more energy than a large atomic bomb. 

Now that’s a comforting thought.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/140305/asteroid-to-pass-earth-closer-than-moon-live-video