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LIVE: NASA coverage of a giant asteroid sweeping past Earth

♫ I don’t wanna close my eyes, I don’t wanna fall asleep… ♫

WITH ALL THE ATTENTION that’s been focussed on the meteorites which have injured nearly 1,000 people in Russia today, it’s been easy to forget that there’s a giant asteroid flying past Earth this evening.

2012 DA14 (catchy, huh?) is said to be big enough to flatten any of Earth’s major cities – and though 27,000 kilometres might seem like quite a distance away, it’s closer than any asteroid will ever have come to us since we started looking out for them 20 years ago.

In fact, it’s actually close enough to knock out some man-made satellites – though NASA reckons the chances of that happening are pretty slim. (And be assured: it’s not going to hit us.)

The giant asteroid will begin to fly past Earth from about 7pm this evening, and will be at its brightest when it flies over Asia and Oceania. It’ll be just after 9pm Irish time when it’s best seen over European skies.

Thankfully, if you can’t wait that long, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab is running a live webcast – which you can see above – from 7pm tonight; it’ll use high-powered cameras based in Australia and around Europe to bring you coverage of the whole thing, starting at 7pm Irish time, complete with commentary from expert astronomers.

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The internet, eh?

Click here to watch the live NASA footage if you’re having trouble with the feed above.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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