Large Asteroid To Pass Close To Earth Late This Morning

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A large asteroid will be passing close to Earth late this morning, making its way near the Bay Area, a local astronomer said.

According to Oakland-based Chabot Space and Science Center astronomer Ben Burress, the asteroid will miss Earth by 17,230 miles.

"The asteroid is definitely not going to hit us," Burress said.

However, it will be close enough to possibly hit satellite equipment, he said.

The asteroid will be closest to Earth around 11:25 a.m. PST and will be visible through a telescope.

NASA will be streaming video of the approximately 200-foot wide asteroid starting at 11 a.m. The stream is available at

The asteroid is officially named 2012 DA14.

Throughout the day, telescope viewing will be available at Chabot Space and Science Center, followed by a 7 p.m. asteroid viewing party at the center at 10000 Skyline Blvd. in Oakland.

In a similar cosmic event, a meteor exploded Thursday night over Central Russia in the Chelyabinsk region, causing damage and injuries in the aftermath of the blast. The blast was a sonic boom from the meteor entering Earth's atmosphere, Burress said.

The meteor explosion was unrelated to the asteroid passing by Earth late this morning, he said.

"That object came from a different direction," Burress said. The object was also much smaller than the large asteroid. The asteroid fly-by path has been tracked for the past year, Burress said, while the Russian meteor was an unexpected event.


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