Asteroid to buzz Earth on Friday, satellites prepare a clear path

It seems like asteroids have been whizzing past the Earth at an alarming rate recently, although scientists tell us that people are just more aware of them than before. Still, an asteroid with the catchy name 2012 DA14 is going to buzz the planet on Friday, passing about 17,200 miles from the Earth's surface at 17,450 mph.

That's closer than a whole bunch of communications satellites sitting in geostationary orbits, so a few are altering their positions to avoid a colossal crack up. Astronomers say that 2012 DA14's orbit is very clear and there is zero chance of it striking Earth, but they can't make a similar promise about all the junk that's floating around up there.

The closet approach will come at 2:24 P.M. Eastern Standard Time time on Friday, although you will need to be in Southeast Asia or Australia to have a chance of spotting it.

Check out the video to learn more about 2012 DA14's flyby.

NASA, via

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