Tunguska-Size Asteroid to Make Closest Fly-by in History© Leonid Elenin / ISON-NM Observatory
Tunguska-Size Asteroid to Make Closest Fly-by in History© NASA
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MOSCOW, February 8 (RIA Novosti) - An asteroid similar in size to the one which exploded over Tunguska in Siberia in 1908, will pass Earth on February 15 by the smallest-ever recorded margin, but poses no threat of colliding with the planet, America’s space agency NASA reported.
“The asteroid will pass by our planet at a remarkably close distance, but the asteroid’s path is understood well enough that there is no chance of a collision with the Earth,” NASA said on its website.
The asteroid, known as 2012 DA14, will come no closer than 17,150 miles (27,650 kilometers) to Earth, according to NASA. It was detected in February 2012 when it was about 2.7 million miles (4.3 million kilometers) away.
The asteroid is approximately 150 feet (45 meters) in diameter and has an estimated mass is about 130,000 metric tons.
“A comparison to the impact potential of an asteroid the size of 2012 DA14 could be made to the impact of a near-Earth object that occurred in 1908 in Tunguska, Siberia,” NASA said.
On June 30, 1908, Eastern Siberia was hit by an explosion equal to 2,000 times the nuclear bomb that destroyed the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945, destroying 850 square miles (2,200 square kilometers) of forest and flattening tens of millions of trees. If the impact had occurred four hours later, the city of St. Petersburg and other nearby settlements would have been wiped off the face of the earth
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