Asteroid sweeps past Earth as expected
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In an interview Friday morning, YNN Chief Meteorologist Burton Fitzsimmons spoke with James Greene, NASA Director of Planetary Science, about how asteroid 2012 DA14 is just one of many near-earth objects we should watch.
Ironically, a meteor nearly 50 feet long exploded in the skies over Russia earlier Friday morning, shattering windows and injuring hundreds of people. Multiple sonic booms likely did the most damage.
As unbelievable as it may seem, there is no apparent connection between these back-to-back space events.
"In videos of the meteor, it is seen to pass from left to right in front of the rising sun, which means it was traveling from north to south. Asteroid DA14's trajectory is in the opposite direction, from south to north," a NASA spokesperson said in a statement
At 1:25 p.m. Friday, asteroid 2012 DA14, about half the size of a football field, made its closest approach to earth at a distance of slightly more than 17,000 miles away.
An asteroid the size of 2012 DA14 is believed to have created Meteor Crater in Arizona when it crashed into the surface some 50,000 years ago.
The Russian space agency reports the earlier meteor broke up into at least three large pieces over western Russia. One piece was reportedly retrieved from a lake.