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Asteroid Will Zoom Within 25,000 Miles Of Earth This Weekend

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This graphic depicts the orbit of asteroid 2014 RC around the sun. A house-sized asteroid will safely fly past Earth Sunday afternoon, September 7, at a distance equivalent to about one-tenth of the distance between Earth and the moon. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This graphic depicts the orbit of asteroid 2014 RC around the sun. A house-sized asteroid will safely fly past Earth Sunday afternoon, September 7, at a distance equivalent to about one-tenth of the distance between Earth and the moon. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A newly discovered asteroid will buzz Earth this weekend.

At closest approach Sunday, the 60-foot rock will pass a safe 25,000 miles over New Zealand. That’s about one-tenth the distance between here and the moon. It’s also beyond the orbit of our highest communication and weather satellites.

NASA says this latest near-Earth asteroid — called 20214 RC (R-C) — poses no threat to either the home planet or orbiting spacecraft. A space rock of about the same size blasted through the atmosphere over Russia’s Ural Mountains in 2013, causing considerable damage.

Astronomers in Arizona detected 2014 RC the night of Aug. 31.

Stargazers will need telescopes to see Sunday’s flyby. If you miss it, don’t worry. It will be back in the neighborhood again one day.

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Online:

NASA: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2014-295

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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