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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Nation/World

'Rock of Love' to Miss Earth

An asteroid will pass by Earth just as Valentine's Day ends.

An asteroid will fly extremely close to Earth next week. But don't worry, it is far enough away that you can't see it with the naked eye.

An asteroid will come within 17,200 miles of Earth. (AP)
An asteroid will come within 17,200 miles of Earth. (AP)

The asteroid will come as close as some satellites and the closest an object of its size has ever come to Earth, but there is no chance it will collide with the earth, according to NASA.

The asteroid won't kill anyone when it flies by on February 15th, so don't adjust your Valentine's Day plans.

It will not be visible from your home, but NASA will have a livestream of the flyby from a telescope at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.

The asteroid weighs about 130,000 tons, but it's considered small by NASA. If it were to hit Earth, NASA estimates it would flatten about 750 square miles, or roughly the size of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah combined.

NASA said it will use the flyby to study asteroids and learn more about how to avoid collisions if an asteroid ever comes closer to Earth. 

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