LOS ANGELES (AP) - Scientists have been tracking an asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier that's set to make a close but harmless
swing by Earth.
At closest approach, the quarter-mile-wide space rock will pass
within 202,000 miles of our planet at 6:28 p.m. Eastern time
Experts at NASA's Near-Earth Object Program, which monitors
asteroids and comets, say there's zero chance of an impact. They're
using the close encounter to learn more about the asteroid known as
Since late last week, antennas at NASA's Deep Space Network in
California have been tracking the spinning asteroid. The last time
one this big zipped by Earth was in 1976.
Amateur skygazers with a 6-inch telescope or larger may glimpse
the asteroid if skies are clear and they know where to look.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)