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Astronomer: Asteroid could make close flyby in 2026

April 25, 2013 at 7:53 PM   |   Comments

MILAN, Italy, April 25 (UPI) -- An Italian astronomer says new data suggest an asteroid 65 feet in diameter could pass dangerously close to Earth's surface in 13 years.

Francesco Manca of the Sormano Astronomical Observatory near Milan, Italy, said the April 14, 2026, flyby of the asteroid 2013 GM3 could bring it within 5,300 miles of Earth, RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

The asteroid was discovered in mid-April by researchers an observatory in Arizona, but preliminary calculation by NASA suggested it would pass 24,000 miles from Earth.

More observations are needed to better determine the asteroid's trajectory, Manca said.

The asteroid is comparable in size to the meteorite that exploded in the air over the city of Chelyabinsk in the Urals in mid-February, injuring about 1,500 people when windows shattered in the shockwave from the meteorite's passing.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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