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Close encounter of asteroid 2011 MD with Earth on June 27: NASA


A file photo

MUMBAI (PTI): The newly-discovered asteroid 2011 MD will pass only 12,000 kilometres above Earth's surface on June 27, NASA said on Friday.

NASA analysts said that there is no chance the space rock will strike Earth.

Nevertheless, the encounter is so close that Earth's gravity will sharply perturb the asteroid's trajectory, they said in the space agency's official website spaceweather.com.

At closest approach, 2011 MD will pass in broad daylight over the southern Atlantic Ocean near the coast of Antarctica.

As the asteroid recedes from Earth, it will pass through the zone of geosynchronous satellites.

"The chances of a collision with a satellite or man-made space junk are extremely small, albeit not zero," NASA said.

Judging from the brightness of the asteroid, it measures only 5 to 20 meters in diameter.

According to NASA's JPL's Near Earth Object Programme office, one would expect an object of this size to come this close to Earth about every six years on an average.

For a brief time, it will be bright enough to be seen even with a medium-sized backyard telescope, NASA said.

Tags:

NASA  Asteroid  Earth  

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