Asteroid will zoom within 25,000 miles of Earth on Sunday; New Zealand will have closest seats

  • Article by: MARCIA DUNN , Associated Press
  • Updated: September 4, 2014 - 10:00 AM

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — 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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