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This Giant Asteroid Is Barely Going to Miss Earth on Friday

asteroid moving toward Earth
NASA

Seventeen-thousand miles might not sound particularly close at first listen, but when it comes to a gigantic rock the size of half a football field, it’s a bit scarier.

On Friday, an asteroid labeled 2012 DA14 will pass by Earth at a distance of about 17,150 miles. This is the closest that an asteroid of 2012 DA14′s size—150 feet wide, 286,000,000 pounds—has come to actually hitting our planet since humans have started keeping track and watching the skies.

Fortunately there is no chance that the enormous flying rock will actually hit Earth, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great opportunity for scientists to study what we might have to do if a ‘Deep Impact’/'Armageddon’-style asteroid ever did set its sights directly on us.

Business Insider has put together a helpful list of things you should know about 2012 DA14, including how fast it’s traveling (17,450 miles per hour), what it will look like when it passes us, and what might happen if a rock that size actually did smash into Earth.

Finally, NASA has also put together a great animated video of the asteroid’s path as it approaches Earth.

[Live Science, Business Insider]

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