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Asteroid whizzes safely past Earth

Published on Feb 16, 2013 6:24 AM

BOSTON (AFP) - A closely tracked asteroid, about 45m wide, whizzed safely past Earth on Friday, the same day a much smaller, previously undetected meteor hit Russia, injuring nearly 1,000 people.

Live images from a telescope at the Gingin Observatory in western Australia showed the asteroid looking like a white streak, moving across against a backdrop of black sky.

Astronomers said the object's speed and proximity made it a challenge to track, because telescopes had to be aimed precisely or risked missing it.

The asteroid, dubbed 2012 DA 14, passed around 27,000 kilometers above the Earth at the time of closest approach, about 2:25 pm EST (3.24am Singapore time), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) said.

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