On Friday afternoon at around 2:25 p.m. EST/1:25 p.m. CST, a 150 wide asteroid, identified as 2012 DA14, will pass by very close to Earth. According to NASA, the asteroid will be over Sumatra, Indonesia at its closest point to earth, a distance of just 17,150 miles above our heads. That's about 5,000 miles closer to earth than the orbit of many of our weather and communications satellites. According to NASA, this is the closest documented encounter of an asteroid this large. Despite its closeness, NASA is calling this a "safe" fly-by and indicating that there's NO chance of this asteroid hitting Earth.
On June 1908, a 300 foot asteroid (or comet comprised of mostly water ice rather than hard rock) exploded over the Tunguska River in Siberia/Russia. It was the most powerful asteroid to hit the Earth with such power. Over 825 square miles of territory (comprised mostly of trees and wildlife) were devastated.
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