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Asteroid almost half the size of Everest to fly by Earth next month — but it won't hit us

08:50, Monday, 09 March, 2020
Asteroid almost half the size of Everest to fly by Earth next month — but it won't hit us

A gigantic asteroid almost as large as Mount Everest is zooming toward Earth next month, but NASA says not to worry -- it's not expected to collide with our planet.

The space rock is called 52768 (1998 IR2) and was first seen 22 years ago. According to the space agency, early in the morning on Wednesday, April 29, it will pass within 3,908,791 miles of Earth, moving at 19,461 miles per hour.

"[The asteroid's discovery comes] on the heels of last month's installation of new state-of-the-art computing and data analysis hardware that speeds our search for near-Earth objects," said NEAT Project Manager Steven Pravdo of JPL in a statement at the time of the asteroid's discovery. "This shows that our efforts to find near-Earth objects are paying off."

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