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Asteroid to get neighborly with Earth on Sunday

Asteroid 2012 EG5 will get within 143,000 miles of the planet Sunday morning -- that's a little more than half the distance to the moon. But NASA says not to worry.

Edward Moyer Senior Editor
Ed is a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world who enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch. For nearly a quarter of a century, he's edited and written stories about various aspects of the technology world, from the US National Security Agency's controversial spying techniques to historic NASA space missions to 3D-printed works of fine art. Before that, he wrote about movies, musicians, artists and subcultures.
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Edward Moyer
 
Whew! A tweet from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Near Earth Object Office, which "coordinates NASA's efforts to detect, track, and characterize potentially hazardous asteroids and comets that could approach Earth." Screenshot by Edward Moyer/CNET

Get ready for another asteroid to zoom past the Earth, closer than the moon.

Space.com reports that Asteroid 2012 EG5 will get within 143,000 miles of the planet at 8:32 a.m. PT on Sunday -- that's a little more than half the distance to the moon.

About the size of a passenger jet (a mere 150 feet or so wide), this wee space pebble is nothing compared with the aircraft-carrier-size Asteroid 2005 YU55 that screamed by us all back in November.

Besides, the NASA-affiliated Near Earth Object Office assures us via Twitter that the stone will "safely pass."

But let's don't jinx ourselves by getting too smug about it all. We're only three months into the storied year of 2012. There's still plenty of time left for the Earth to get wiped out by a killer fireball or a ginormous solar tornado. (Though NASA says those scenarios are rather unlikely as well.)