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Earth set for close encounter with asteroid

Thu, Sep 04, 2014, 06:19 PM
Washington, Sep 4 : A small asteroid, called 2014 RC, will safely pass very close to Earth Sunday, NASA said in a statement.

At the time of closest approach, the asteroid will be roughly over New Zealand, the US space agency said.

At the time of closest approach, 2014 RC will be approximately one-tenth the distance from the centre of the Earth to the moon, or about 40,000 km.

While the asteroid does not appear to pose any threat to Earth or its satellites, its close approach creates a unique opportunity for researchers to observe and learn more about asteroids, the statement added.

Its orbit will bring it back to our planet's neighbourhood in the future, NASA said.

The asteroid's future motion will be closely monitored, but no future threatening Earth encounters have been identified, NASA added.

From its reflected brightness, astronomers estimated that the asteroid is about 60 feet (20 metres) in size.
Agency: IANS

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