Louisiana Tech Physics Professor Lee Sawyer talked with Dennis Foley and I in detail about a 150-foot, 130,000 metric ton asteroid that's flying close to Earth this afternoon.  He says there's no reason to fear...the space rock isn't expected to impact our planet. Dennis was curious whether it might hit any satellites.

"That's not very likely.  That's hitting a golf ball with a golf ball from miles and miles away," Dr. Sawyer says.  "We don't expect there's going to be any problem with the satellites themselves, but that's how close this thing's gonna get to us."

Dr. Sawyer tells us that because this will get close to our area just before 1:30 this afternoon, we probably won't be able to see it.  But it may be possible if you have a good telescope.

"If you're really good, you could," he says.  "A really good amateur astronomer could probably track it.  It's going be gone really quickly.  In 33 hours, it's going to pass from one side of the moon's orbit to the other."

Is it possible this could be a once-in-a-lifetime occurence for many of us?  Dr. Sawyer says not necessarily.  And he says other events of this type are coming.  "There's at least two comets that we're tracking right now that may become visible as they get closer to the sun," Sawyer says.  "So we're looking at maybe this fall at two really good visible comets in the sky."

Sawyer tells us NASA TV will be tracking this asteroid.  Check that out HERE.


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