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Asteroid to Pass Close to Earth Next Week

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NASA says an asteroid will fly extremely close to Earth next week, but no one has to head for the hills or take shelter in a cave.

The asteroid will fly about 27,520 kilometers above the Indian Ocean next Friday , NASA scientists say emphatically there is no chance the space rock measuring about 45 meters across will hit our planet.

The speeding asteroid will be too small to be seen with the naked eye as it passes overhead. Through a telescope it will appear about the size of a distant star as it moves rapidly across the sky - eight times as fast a rifle bullet - at an altitude well below the orbit of most communications satellites.

NASA says this is the one of the largest asteroids ever to come this close to Earth, but other, much larger space rocks have crashed into Earth's surface millions of years ago, causing calamitous damage.

The last asteroid to cause serious destruction on the ground exploded over a Siberian forest in 1908.

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FILE - President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland en route to Southeast Asia, November 17, 2012.

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