2012 DA14 Asteroid, Russian meteor shower video linked? What each event means, how they're different

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Similar to the meteorite that crashed into Russia early Friday morning, another space rock, named 2012 DA14, is headed toward Earth.

Both rocks are large and are (or at least before it hit Russia) cruising faster than 17,000 mph. DA14's latest estimates measure roughly 150 feet across (half the size of a football field). Despite what these two rocks had in common, they are completely un-related. 

The first difference is their flight paths: 2012 DA14  is traveling from south to north in relation to our planet. In addition to that, it will not enter Earth's atmosphere. This is a major point. As soon as an asteroid enters our atmosphere, it becomes a meteor.

At 2:24 EST, 2012 DA14 will be at its closest point to Earth, 17,150 miles away. That may seem like a huge distance but in all reality, it is extremely close. In fact, since the modern technology, this will be the closest any asteroid has gotten to us without hitting. 

To put 17,150 miles into perspective, our man-made satellites orbit Earth at 23,000 miles and the moon is at a whopping 238,900 miles away! This is why astronomers and space-lovers are considering today's asteroid crossing their holy grail. Researchers will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to collect data on a real space rock. 

As far the non-space lovers, there is absolutely no reason to worry. 2012 DA14 will not affect us.

We won't even be able to see its journey through our sky. The asteroid will be on the other side of the planet so the only way for us to watch would be through NASA's live stream.

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