Asteroid will zoom within 25,000 miles of Earth

This latest near-Earth asteroid is called 20214 RC (R-C)

This graphic depicts the passage of asteroid 2014 RC past Earth on September 7, 2014. At time of closest approach, the space rock will be about one-tenth the distance from Earth to the moon. Times indicated on the graphic are Universal Time. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)
This graphic depicts the passage of asteroid 2014 RC past Earth on September 7, 2014. At time of closest approach, the space rock will be about one-tenth the distance from Earth to the moon. Times indicated on the graphic are Universal Time. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A newly discovered asteroid will pass by Earth this weekend.

At closest approach Sunday, the 60-foot rock will pass a safe 25,000 miles over New Zealand. That’s about one-tenth the distance between here and the moon. It’s also beyond the orbit of our highest communication and weather satellites.

NASA says this latest near-Earth asteroid — called 20214 RC (R-C) — poses no threat to either the home planet or orbiting spacecraft. A space rock of about the same size blasted through the atmosphere over Russia’s Ural Mountains in 2013, causing considerable damage.

Astronomers in Arizona detected 2014 RC the night of Aug. 31.

Stargazers will need telescopes to see Sunday’s flyby. If you miss it, don’t worry. It will be back in the neighborhood again one day.

blog comments powered by Disqus