Near-Earth Asteroid 2014 DX110 (NEA DX110) is approximately 25-30 meters in diameter and will be making a close approach with Earth this afternoon at 4:00 pm EST! Don’t worry; we aren’t in any danger and there’s no need to call in Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck to come blow it up.
At it’s closest point, NEA DX110 will be 350,000 kilometers away, which is over 10,000 km closer than the moon at perigee! Though it might sound a bit scary, it is not uncommon for asteroids of this size to come so close. NASA estimates that it happens about twenty times per year. After studying the nearly-20-meter meteor that hit Chelyabinsk, Russia just over a year ago, scientists were able to conclude that collisions from rocks this size happen about twice a century. Though the majority of these collisions happen away from civilization, the odds may not always be in our favor. Still think devoting money to space study is a waste of time?
Despite this incredibly close brush, the asteroid won’t be bright enough to be seen with the naked eye. Fortunately, the approach will be streamed live by the Slooh Space Camera, which you can view below: