Multiple astronomical events take center stage Friday

Updated: Friday, February 15 2013, 08:48 PM EST
Multiple astronomical events take center stage Friday story image
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Astrologically speaking, it's been a crazy day.

On the same day a meteor slammed down in Russia, an asteroid whizzed by Earth.

It was just after 9:00 a.m. local time when the meteor streaked across the sky in a remote mountain region of Russia.

As many as 1,000 people were hurt when the sonic boom shattered windows across the area.

Later in the day, a close call in space, as a 150-foot rock passed by the earth within 17,000 miles--closer than some satellites.

"These don't happen very often over urban areas," said Eric Schurer of the KVC Planetarium. "They happen more often than people would think, but 2/3 of the Earth's surface is covered by ocean, so we don't see the ones that happen over there or the ones over the polar regions of the Earth."

"In this case, it was a pretty significant event," he continued.

As though that wasn't enough, at 2:25 Eastern Friday, Asteroid 2012-DA14 earned the title of closest known flyby for a rock of its size.

However, the Earth has already seen one of these before.

"An object that size hollowed out the crater on the Earth's surface in Arizona called Meteor Crater," Schurer explained. "3.25 miles across, and a quarter-mile deep; it would have been devastating for an area larger than the state of Arizona."

According to NASA, there are currently 9,672 near-Earth objects such as comets and asteroids that are being watched due to the possibility of entering Earth's proximity.
Multiple astronomical events take center stage Friday
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