Asteroid to make close pass by Earth - FOX 13 News

Asteroid to make close pass by Earth

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Russian meteor (file). Russian meteor (file).
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Another asteroid is expected to whiz past Earth this weekend. Experts say it's over 250 feet wide and will make its closest approach to Earth on Saturday afternoon, at a distance of about 605,000 miles away.

"It's closer to us than Mercury, which is our closest planet, but it's considerably farther from us then the moon," said Tim Hill of the Museum of Science and Industry's planetarium.

Less than a month ago, a different asteroid came just 17,000 miles from our atmosphere. Hours before that, an unrelated meteor streaked across the sky and exploded over Russia, injuring nearly 1,000 people.

"This stuff has happened throughout time. We know that we're traveling through space with all this other stuff out there," Hill said Friday.

Astronomers are also keeping tabs on a comet that's projected to breeze past Mars, or according to earlier estimates, collide with it. While all the cosmic activity could seem concerning, experts say our planet is protected, thanks to a near-perfect placement in our solar system.

"Most of these things often hit the outer planets, where we're the third planet from the Sun. When things enter our solar system and come closer to the Earth, it has a lot of obstacles to go past before it could hit Earth," Hill added.

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