Mini asteroid to make record-setting close approach to Earth

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 03, 2013 05:30 hrs

A 45-metre lump of space rock with the destructive power of an H-bomb will narrowly miss Earth on February 15, it has been reported.

According to the Sunday People, the mini asteroid- named 2012 DA14 after it was discovered last year- will fly beneath satellites on Friday, missing us by 15,000 miles, the nearest ever known.

Don Yeomans of NASA's Near Earth Object Programme said that it's going to be a record-setting close approach though the orbit of the asteroid is known well enough to rule out an impact, the Mirror reported.

The lump, the size of a block of flats, would flatten London if it hit the capital.

"The most important thing about this asteroid is it reminds us the threat from such objects is very real," said Jonti Horner, astronomer at Australia's University of New South Wales.

The asteroid is one of 500,000 known rocks circling us. Experts predict there are many more.

International governments are currently in talks on how to deflect one if it was on a collision course with us.

One proposal would be knock it off course by flying rockets at it.

The European Space Agency plans to practise this on 800-metre asteroid Didymos in 2020.

Other proposals include nuking asteroids with missiles. (ANI)

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