CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA (AP) – An asteroid big enough to wipe out a city will zip harmlessly between Earth and the moon’s orbit this weekend, missing both celestial bodies.
Yesterday’s close encounter offered astronomers the chance to study a space rock from just over 100,000 miles away.
That’s less than half the distance from here to the moon, making it visible through binoculars and small telescopes.
While asteroid flybys are common, NASA said it’s rare for one so big to come so close – about once a decade.
Scientists estimate its size somewhere between 130 feet and 300 feet.
“There is no chance of this ‘city killer’ striking Earth, but its close approach offers a great opportunity for observations,” the European Space Agency’s planetary defence chief Richard Moissl said in a statement.