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Asteroid flyby: Asteroid '2012 DA14' no big deal, NASA says

Asteroid 2012 DA14, will come close -- but not too close -- to earth, NASA says. (NASA depiction)
February 14, 2013 12:10:47 PM PST
Asteroid 2012 DA14, a large space rock, will come close -- but not too close -- to earth on Friday.

Will I be able to see it? Maybe, according to NASA. But unless you're in Indonesia, where they'll need binoculars, you'll need a telescope to see Asteroid 2012 DA14 zoom by at six moon diameters per hour.

NASA also says the space rock will be 60 times fainter than the faintest star visible with the naked eye.

And the final factor- the weather will need to cooperate with clear skies for Friday's flyby.

NASA says Asteroid 2012 DA14 is about half the size of a football field. The asteroid will be closest to earth around 1:25 p.m. Chicago time at 17,150 miles above the earth.

"This flyby will provide a unique opportunity for researchers to study a near-Earth object up close," according to the NASA website.

Astronomers have never seen an asteroid this big come so close to the planet, according to NASA, and the space rock will be closer to earth than any satellites.

NASA will broadcast Asteroid 2012 DA14, beginning at 10 a.m. on NASA TV, nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

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