WASHINGTON (AP) - Have no fear: The White House says an asteroid more than 1 1/2 miles long poses no threat to planet Earth.
The big rock called Asteroid 1998 QE2 was making its closest approach to Earth on Friday, keeping a safe distance of 3.6 million miles, or 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest was asked about the asteroid during a briefing. He says scientists have concluded the asteroid "poses no threat to planet Earth."
He added, to laughter, "I never really thought I'd be standing up here saying that."
The asteroid is believed to be about 1.7 miles long.
The White House was hosting a "We The Geeks" Google+ Hangout Friday, bringing together NASA's deputy administrator and scientists to talk about asteroids.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.