Asteroid will zoom within 25,000 miles of Earth

A Geminid meteor streaks across the sky against a field of star trails over one of the peaks of the Seven Sisters rock formation early December 14, 2007 in the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. The meteor display, known as the Geminid meteor shower because it appears to radiate from near the star Castor in the constellation Gemini, is thought to be the result of debris cast off from an asteroid-like object called 3200 Phaeton. The shower is visible every December. (Ethan Miller, Getty Images/file)
A Geminid meteor streaks across the sky against a field of star trails over one of the peaks of the Seven Sisters rock formation early December 14, 2007 in the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. The meteor display, known as the Geminid meteor shower because it appears to radiate from near the star Castor in the constellation Gemini, is thought to be the result of debris cast off from an asteroid-like object called 3200 Phaeton. The shower is visible every December. (Ethan Miller, Getty Images/file)

Updated: 9/04 10:18 am

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A newly discovered asteroid will buzz Earth this weekend.

At closest approach Sunday, the 60-foot rock will pass a safe 25,000 miles over New Zealand. That's about one-tenth the distance between here and the moon. It's also beyond the orbit of our highest communication and weather satellites.

NASA says this latest near-Earth asteroid — called 20214 RC (R-C) — poses no threat to either the home planet or orbiting spacecraft. A space rock of about the same size blasted through the atmosphere over Russia's Ural Mountains in 2013, causing considerable damage.

Astronomers in Arizona detected 2014 RC the night of Aug. 31.

Stargazers will need telescopes to see Sunday's flyby. If you miss it, don't worry. It will be back in the neighborhood again one day.

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Online:

NASA: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2014-295

 

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