Car-size asteroid to brush past earth today

  on February 09 2011 5:39 AM

Earth will have another brush with the celestial throw of dice today, with an asteroid the size of a car passing close by the planet, but astronomers have ruled out jitters.

An asteroid called 2011 CA7 will fly within 64,300 miles (103,480 kilometers) of Earth on Wednesday, Space.com reported, quoting an alert from NASA's Asteroid Watch program.

The asteroid, which is about the size of a car, was discovered by astronomers earlier this month. It will be the instance in five days of a space rock flying near the earth.

The asteroid will make its closest pass by Earth at around 2:25 p.m. EST (1925 GMT), according to the small-body database overseen by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif, says the report. A smaller asteroid, 2011 CQ 1, had sailed within 3,400 miles (5471 km) of earth.

Potentially hazardous asteroids are space rocks about 490 feet (nearly 150 meters) wide or larger that fly too close to Earth for comfort, Space.com said quoting NASA officials. The space agency's Near-Earth Object office at JPL coordinates efforts to detect, track and characterize the threats posed by asteroids and comets.

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