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asteroid will definitely miss us this time … but it comes back every year

By Eddie Wrenn

daily mail

An asteroid with the destructive power of an H-bomb is scheduled to sweep past the Earth at a distance closer than commercial satellites.

Asteroid 2012 DA14 circles the Earth once a year – and when it flies by next February, it will be just 24,000km away.

Luckily, it is not going to hit us this time round – but be warned that this is just one of just 500,000 rocks circling in a close orbit.

Scientists say there is no chance of an impact in 2013, but such a possibility cannot be ruled out during the asteroid’s yearly approach .

If it did enter the Earth’s atmosphere and explode, the force would be enough to destroy an area the size of Greater London.

The asteroid was spotted last month by a team operating from the La Sagra Sky Survey observatory near Granada in Spain. The observatory uses automated telescopes to track small asteroids and comets.

2012 DA14 was discovered after the astronomers decided to search areas of the sky where asteroids are not usually seen.

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