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Asteroid passes within 50,000 miles of Earth

Published 05/03/2009

NASA scientists say an asteroid capable of causing significant damage zipped past the Earth earlier this week.

The asteroid, named 2009 DD45, "buzzed" the planet on Monday, coming within 48,800 miles of the Earth's surface.

This is just twice as high as the orbits of some telecommunications satellites and around one-fifth of the distance to the moon.

The asteroid was around the same size as one that levelled more than 800 square miles of forest in Siberia a century ago.

Scientists had been monitoring it since late last month and were aware that it would pose no threat to Earth.

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