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DA14 Asteroid to Miss Earth by 17,200 Miles; Meteor Injures Russians

Friday's DA14 asteroid will miss Earth by '15 minutes,' according to TV scientist Bill Nye. An overnight meteor in Russia was roughly 5,000 miles from Golden Valley.

Golden Valley is thousands of miles from Friday's meteor in Russia and DA14 asteroid.

On Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass within 17,200 miles—or 15 minutes—of Earth, according to TV scientist Bill Nye (see first YouTube).

A separate meteor entering the Earth's atmosphere over Russia early Friday sent shockwaves that injured 400 people in the Ural Mountains area, the Star Tribune reported. The biggest city in the region, Chelyabinsk, is 6,822 miles from Fridley (see second YouTube).

The asteroid is half the size of the Bob O'Neill Field at Fridley High School, according to a BBC diagram. Nye said it is comparable in size to the one responsible for the 1908 Tunguska event, but is expected to pass harmlessly by, Nye said it is a very close shave relatively speaking.

"This one will miss us by about 15 minutes," Nye explained. "Fifteen minutes difference and that's it."

If it were not for those 15 minutes, life for millions of people could end.

"If such a meteor were to hit Atlanta or New York City or Boston, that would be it for those municipalities," Nye said. As much as 1,200 square miles would be destroyed, Nye added.

According to Nye, there are approximately 100,000 "Earth-crossing" asteroids and, for the first time in human history, the possibility exists that something could be done should one threaten Earth.

"It is something that we as humans all over the world ought to get involved in," he said.

Are you worried about an asteroid striking Earth in your lifetime? Scroll down to comment.

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