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It’s a Big Space Day With a Meteor and An Asteroid

Nasa/Getty Images

It is going to be a huge day for space stories today with a meteor striking earth and an asteroid cruising past earth today.

According to Fox News nearly 1,000 people have sought help for injuries after a meteor streaked through the sky and exploded Friday over Russia’s Ural Mountains. The sonic blast from the hurtling space rock shattered countless windows and deeply frightened thousands causing people to think the world was coming to an end. The meteor — estimated to be about 10 tons — entered the Earth’s atmosphere at speed of at least 33,000 mph and shattered about 18-32 miles above the ground.   City officials said 3,000 buildings in the city were damaged.

Meanwhile, a 150-foot asteroid  by the name of 2012DA14 is headed toward Earth and is destined Friday to make the closest known flyby for a rock of its size. The U.S. space agency NASA promised the asteroid would miss Earth by 17,150 miles, avoiding catastrophe. But that’s still closer than many communication and weather satellites. Scientists insisted those, too, would be spared.

Scientists at NASA’s Near-Earth Object program at California’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory estimate that an object of this size makes a close approach like this every 40 years. The best viewing locations, with binoculars and telescopes, are in Asia, Australia and eastern Europe. Even there, all anyone will be able to see is a pinpoint of light as the asteroid zooms by at 17,400 mph.

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