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The Boston Globe


Science in Mind

Asteroid on track for relatively close pass on Friday

Post-Valentine’s Day close encounter

On Friday afternoon, the earth will have a close encounter with object 2012 DA 14, an asteroid a little less than half a football field in diameter. This will be the closest call with an asteroid so far in 2013, as the object will hurtle by about 17,000 miles from the earth’s surface.

Timothy Spahr, director of the Minor Planet Center at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said the asteroid was discovered last year by a team of using a Spanish telescope to track near-Earth objects that could pose a threat to satellites.

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