On Deck Today: 'Beast' Asteroid Does Earth Fly-By

2014 HQ124 will come within 777K miles of your planet

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 8, 2014 8:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Earthlings, prepare to meet the Beast: An 1,100-foot-wide asteroid thus nicknamed is doing a fly-by of the planet today, and if it were on a slightly different trajectory, well, we'd be in some trouble. As Space.com reports, the Beast, better known as 2014 HQ124, is traveling at 31,000mph and will pass within 777,000 miles of Earth (that's about 3.25 times the distance between the Earth and the moon). Thus, if it were to score a direct hit, it would be "catastrophic," says one asteroid expert. "If it hit a city, it would definitely wipe out an entire metropolitan area. You'd end up with a crater about three miles across." Fortunately, as per Space.com , there's zero chance of a hit. The Beast was detected about six weeks ago.

Planet Earth gets a fly-by today from a meteor dubbed "Beast."   (AP Photo/Chelyabinsk.ru, Yekaterina Pustynnikova, File)
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