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Christmas Eve Asteroid Flyby Poses No Earthquake Threats

Image: Christmas Eve Asteroid Flyby Poses No Earthquake Threats
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By    |   Tuesday, 15 Dec 2015 02:05 PM

A Christmas Eve asteroid will make an Earth flyby, coming within some 6.7 million miles of our planet, but whether it is a threat depends on who you ask.

The asteroid, known as 2003 SD220 or Asteroid 163899, will require a telescope for viewing, but shouldn't cause any adverse effects here on Earth, according to EarthSky.org.

At an estimated size of 1.25 miles long, the asteroid poses no threat, according to Eddie Irizarry of the Astronomical Society of the Caribbean.

"Don’t believe any media suggesting that this space rock may cause earthquakes. Those assertions are misleading and incorrect," he wrote on EarthSky.org. "Even if 2003 SD220 were passing closer, it’s doubtful earthquakes would result. In fact, there’s no scientific evidence that an asteroid’s flyby can cause any seismic activity, unless it collides with Earth, but — in this case — that clearly will not be the case."

The Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Object Search program in Flagstaff, Arizona, first discovered 2003 SD220 on Sept. 29, 2003. NASA officials have verified that the large asteroid would not come dangerously close to Earth in the next two centuries, according to EarthSky.org.

The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico last week tweeted some of the best images of the asteroid as it approaches Earth.


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A Christmas Eve asteroid will make an Earth flyby, coming within some 6.7 million miles of our planet, but whether it is a threat depends on who you ask.
christmas, eve, asteroid, flyby, earth
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2015-05-15
Tuesday, 15 Dec 2015 02:05 PM
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