Earth gets a rush of weekend asteroid visitors

By REUTERS
March 10, 2013 03:36

 
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., - An asteroid as big as a city block shot relatively close by the Earth on Saturday, the latest in a series of visiting celestial objects including an asteroid the size of a bus that exploded over Russia last month, injuring 1,500.

Discovered just six days ago, the 460-foot long (140-meter) Asteroid 2013 ET passed about 600,000 miles (950,000 km) from Earth at 3:30 p.m. EST (2030 GMT). That's about 2-1/2 times as far as the moon, fairly close on a cosmic yardstick.

"The scary part of this one is that it's something we didn't even know about," Patrick Paolucci, president of Slooh Space Camera, said during a webcast featuring live images of the asteroid from a telescope in the Canary Islands.

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