Earth set for close encounter with asteroid 2014 RC

Earth set for close encounter with asteroid 2014 RC

Zee Media Bureau

Washington: NASA has announced that a small asteroid, called 2014 RC, will safely pass very close to Earth on Sunday. Astronomers have estimated that the asteroid is about 60 feet (20 metres) in size .

The asteroid will be roughly over New Zealand at the time of closest approach and will be approximately one-tenth the distance from the centre of the Earth to the moon, or about 40,000 km.

While the asteroid does not appear to pose any threat to Earth or its satellites, its close approach creates a unique opportunity for researchers to observe and learn more about asteroids, said the NASA statement.

Its orbit will bring it back to our planet's neighbourhood in the future, NASA said.

The asteroid's future motion will be closely monitored, but no future threatening Earth encounters have been identified, NASA added.

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