Here We Go Again: BIG Asteroid Set To Buzz Earth - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Here We Go Again: BIG Asteroid Set To Buzz Earth

Posted: Updated:

NBCNEWS.COM - A newly discovered asteroid the size of a football field will cruise through Earth's neighborhood this weekend, just days after another space rock made an even closer approach to our planet.

The 330-foot-wide (100 meters) asteroid 2013 ET will miss Earth by 600,000 miles (960,000 kilometers) when it zips by on Saturday. The space rock flyby will come just days after the 33-foot (10 m) asteroid 2013 EC approached within 230,000 miles (370,000 km) of us early Monday.

When asteroid 2013 ET passes Earth, it will be at a range equivalent to 2.5 times the distance between the planet and the moon, making it too faint and far away for most stargazers to spot in the night sky. But the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy, run by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi, will webcast a live telescope view of the space rock's flyby on Friday, beginning at 2 p.m. EST. You can access the free broadcast here.

There is no danger that 2013 ET will hit Earth, researchers say, just as 2013 EC posed no threat. But their flybys are slightly unsettling nonetheless, since both asteroids were discovered mere days ago.

Indeed, many space rocks are hurtling undetected through Earth's neck of the cosmic woods. Astronomers estimate that the number of near-Earth asteroids tops 1 million, but just 9,700 have been discovered to date.

Undetected objects can strike Earth without warning, as the surprise meteor explosion over Russia last month illustrated. The 55-foot (17 m) asteroid that caused the Feb. 15 Russian fireball detonated in the atmosphere before astronomers even knew it existed.

While many scientists stress the urgent need for expanded and improved asteroid-detection efforts, there is some good news: Humanity is unlikely to go the way of the dinosaurs anytime soon.

NASA researchers have identified and mapped the orbits of 95 percent of the 980 or so near-Earth asteroids at least 0.6 miles (1 km) wide, which could threaten human civilization if they hit us. None of these behemoths are on a collision course with Earth in the foreseeable future.

For comparison, the asteroid believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago likely measured about 6 miles (10 km) across, scientists say.

  • National NewsMore>>

  • Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war

    Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:36 AM EDT2014-07-27 14:36:04 GMT
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas says it has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war ahead of a major Muslim holiday. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the truce would go into effect at 2 p.m. Sunday. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to begin Monday or Tuesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon.More >>
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas says it has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war ahead of a major Muslim holiday. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the truce would go into effect at 2 p.m. Sunday. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to begin Monday or Tuesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon.More >>
  • Dutch: 1st victim identified from Flight 17

    Dutch: 1st victim identified from Flight 17

    Saturday, July 26 2014 5:55 PM EDT2014-07-26 21:55:02 GMT
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch government says the first victim has been identified from the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster.The name and sex of the victim, a Dutch national, weren't released. The government said Saturday the next of kin and mayor of the victim's hometown have been informed.More >>
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch government says the first victim has been identified from the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster.The name and sex of the victim, a Dutch national, weren't released. The government said Saturday the next of kin and mayor of the victim's hometown have been informed.More >>
  • 3 rockets hit Israel as Hamas rejects Gaza truce

    3 rockets hit Israel as Hamas rejects Gaza truce

    Saturday, July 26 2014 5:19 PM EDT2014-07-26 21:19:11 GMT
    JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israeli military says three rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel despite a proposed extension of a humanitarian truce in the Gaza war.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the group rejected Israel's proposal to extend an original 12-hour lull by four hours, until midnight Saturday.More >>
    JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israeli military says three rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel despite a proposed extension of a humanitarian truce in the Gaza war.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the group rejected Israel's proposal to extend an original 12-hour lull by four hours, until midnight Saturday.More >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Crews make progress in Carlton Complex fire

    Crews make progress in Carlton Complex fire

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:57 PM EDT2014-07-28 03:57:54 GMT
    SEATTLE (AP) - Officials say firefighting crews are making progress against Washington's largest wildfire, saying the 390-square-mile fire in the north-central part of the state is now almost 60 percent contained.The progress at the Carlton complex fire comes as temperatures begin to rise, with the possibility of triple digit temperatures next week. More >>
    SEATTLE (AP) - Officials say firefighting crews are making progress against Washington's largest wildfire, saying the 390-square-mile fire in the north-central part of the state is now almost 60 percent contained.The progress at the Carlton complex fire comes as temperatures begin to rise, with the possibility of triple digit temperatures next week. More >>
  • KHQ Special: 'Behind the Fire Lines'

    KHQ Special: 'Behind the Fire Lines'

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:46:01 GMT
    KHQ.COM - For over a week, we've heard hundreds of heartbreaking stories from people who have lost everything, to those who refuse to let the firestorm break their spirits. From communities rallying together, to the heroes on the front lines, all that and more inside "Beyond the Fire Lines." If you missed it you can check out the videos inside this article.More >>
    KHQ.COM - For over a week, we've heard hundreds of heartbreaking stories from people who have lost everything, to those who refuse to let the firestorm break their spirits. From communities rallying together, to the heroes on the front lines, all that and more inside "Beyond the Fire Lines." If you missed it you can check out the videos inside this article.More >>
  • Therapeutic bacteria’s ability to prevent obesity

    Therapeutic bacteria’s ability to prevent obesity

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:10 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:10:46 GMT
    (KHQ MD)- An exciting new study is showing some very promising hope in the fight against obesity. A scientist at Vanderbilt is creating a bacteria that acts as a therapeutic compound in the gut preventing weight gain, even in high-fat diets.More >>
    (KHQ MD)- An exciting new study is showing some very promising hope in the fight against obesity. A scientist at Vanderbilt is creating a bacteria that acts as a therapeutic compound in the gut preventing weight gain, even in high-fat diets.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.