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UNCOMFORTABLE Asteroid to Pass Close to Earth

Asteroid to Pass Close to Earth

It might be a little soon to be planning Valentine’s Day, but you might want to start thinking about where you’ll be the day after, when Asteroid 2012 DA14 is expected to pass dangerously close to Earth and a ring of its communication satellites. The asteroid’s discovery last year led to concerns that it might come a little too close for comfort, but astronomers have since dispelled the fear of possible impact. Still, depending on how close this celestial body gets to us—and it’s already predicted to pass Earth at a closer distance than the moon—the planet’s gravitational pull could warp its path. Scientists will be keeping an eye on 2012 DA14 in case a new threat of collision does arise.

January 6, 2013 1:11 PM