WASHINGTON (AP) — An asteroid that is coming within cosmic kissing distance of Earth is going to be a little late for its date with our planet. But there is still no chance it will hit Earth.
New observations now have astronomers saying the asteroid, called 2011 MD, won’t swing close by Earth until 1 p.m. EDT Monday, about three and-a-half hours later than they first thought. It won’t come as close either. It’ll come about 7,600 miles near Earth, 100 miles further than first forecast.
The asteroid is between 15 feet and 60 feet wide. It will be bright enough a medium-sized telescope might be able to see it.
Earlier this year an even smaller space rock came within 3,400 miles of Earth.
NASA’s near Earth object program: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/index.html