NEWS

Asteroid flyby will bring space rock closer than the moon

03/05/2014 11:09 EST | Updated 05/05/2014 05:59 EDT
An asteroid the size of a baseball diamond will pass between the Earth and the moon's orbit this afternoon.

Asteroid 2014 DX110, which is 30 metres across, will make its closest approach to Earth at 4 p.m. ET today, NASA says. At that point, it will be just 350,000 kilometres from Earth, about 35,000 kilometres closer than the moon is, on average.

NASA says the asteroid will pass "safely" and that asteroids pass that close to Earth about 20 times a year.

The asteroid flyby is being streamed live by at least a couple of organizations that connect robotic telescopes to the internet:

- The Italy-based Virtual Telescope Project, which has already captured photos and video footage of the asteroid.

- U.S.-based Slooh.

However, Slooh warned that the object's small size, its high speed, and the uncertainty about its orbit means "there is a high probability we will not capture the asteroid during the broadcast."

However, it noted that it will be streaming the flyby of a much larger asteroid called 2014 CU13, which is up to 260 metres in diameter, on Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.

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