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Submission + - Earth escapes asteroid flyby, boffins want lasers aimed at next one (theregister.co.uk)

iComp writes: "The largest recorded asteroid to enter Earth's elbow-room has passed by safely, with 2012 DA14 skimming through the geostationary orbit of our satellites at 17,450 miles per hour without leaving a scratch.

The asteroid was observable with binoculars as it reached its closest point to Earth at 11:25am PST (7:25pm UTC) over Southeast Asia, and missed us by 17,150 miles (27,600 kilometers). The rock is 150 feet (45 meters) across and its 130,000 metric tons of mass are now heading out past the Moon.

The asteroid was given a slight kink in its orbit by our close encounter, but Don Yeomans, head of NASA's Near-Earth Object program office, said that the tracking data is now in their computers and there would be no closer visits by 2012 DA14 for a generation or so."

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Earth escapes asteroid flyby, boffins want lasers aimed at next one

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