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February 5 2013

'Close' encounters of the asteroid kind: 130,000 ton asteroid to make closest ever fly-by of Earth

A chunk of space rock 50 metres wide, weighing 130,000 tonnes and travelling at 17,400mph is set to make its closest fly-by of earth ever later this month.

The snappily named 2012 DA14 will miss earth by a mere 17,200 miles when it passes the planet inside the orbit of many of our geosynchronous communication satellites.

Despite its relatively small size the rock would produce the equivalent of 2.5 megatons of TNT if it hit earth.

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