An asteroid will speed past our planet on Sunday, practically shaving terrestrial space as the rock whizzes past Earth just one tenth of its distance from the moon. The rare occasion will be most clearly witnessed in the skies above New Zealand.
The space traveler was discovered at the end of august by the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona, and independently detected the next night by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope, located on the summit of Haleakalā on Maui, Hawaii, according to NASA.
At its closest, asteroid 2014 RC will be mere 34,000km from New Zealand, while geosynchronous communications and weather satellites remain in a 36,000km orbit. Although closer than those satellites, it is guaranteed to pass our planet safely on September 7 at 18:18GMT (2:18pm EDT).
“While 2014 RC will not impact Earth, its orbit will bring it back to our planet’s neighborhood in the future,” NASA officials said.
“The asteroid’s future motion will be closely monitored, but no future threatening Earth encounters have been identified,” NASA reassured.
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