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Asteroid will pass close to earth tonight, but will not collide

The U.S. space agency (NASA) warned that an asteroid the size of a garbage truck will pass close to Earth during Thursday night, in what is registered as one of the closest encounters of this type of celestial objects ever recorded.

In that sense, NASA insisted that it will be a flyby with no possibility of impact with the planet Earth. The closest approach will be at 21.57 today.

In the same way, the agency indicated on Wednesday that this newly discovered asteroid will pass 3,600 kilometers over the southern tip of South America. That translates to nearly 10 times closer than the group of communication satellites orbiting overhead.

On the other hand, even if the space rock were to come much closer than stipulated, scientists believe that it would burn up in the atmosphere and that only some of the larger pieces would possibly fall as meteorites.

NASA's impact risk assessment system, called Scout, quickly ruled out a collision, reported its developer, David Farnocchia, an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

"But despite very few observations, he was able to predict that the asteroid will come extraordinarily close to Earth," Farnocchia said in a statement. "In fact, it is one of the closest approaches of a near-Earth object ever recorded," he added.

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