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Asteroid makes close pass over Earth

3:36 PM, Feb 15, 2013   |    comments
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(NASA animation image)

(WXIA) -- A rock half the size of a football field zoomed past the Earth Friday, close enough to be below the level of some communications satellites.

NASA scientists said Asteroid 2012 DA14 passed the Earth at an altitude of 17,200 miles above the coast of Sumatra at about 2:25 p.m. Eastern time Friday. Scientists said there is no cause for alarm from the 150 foot wide space rock.

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The asteroid passed by well below the more than 23,000 mile altitude that satellites for radio and television broadcasters like DirecTV, Dish Network and SiriusXM use.

Sky watchers in that part of the world were able to view the pass through small telescopes or large binoculars if they can keep up with the fast moving asteroid. Live streams from multiple sources  tracked the rock as it flew by.

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NASA provided a real-time simulation of the view from Asteroid 2012 DA14 as it approaches Earth.

At 150 feet wide, if it were to strike the Earth, scientists estimate it would leave a crater similar in size to the nearly 3/4 of a mile wide Meteor Crater in northern Arizona.

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