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Earth avoids close call with asteroid

March 3, 2009 11:58:56 AM PST
There was a close call in outer space, as a small asteroid narrowly missed hitting the planet Monday. The 200-foot wide asteroid zoomed past about 40,000 miles up. That's only 1/7th of the way to the moon.

Astronomers say the asteroid, which passed by at 8:44 p.m., could have struck the Pacific Ocean with the force of a nuclear blast.

Scientists say the same asteroid will likely pass by earth again, so we're not out of the woods yet. The frightening part is that the asteroid was only discovered by Australian astronomers last Friday.


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