We're Getting a Christmas Eve Asteroid

There's no danger of Asteroid 163899-Santa collision
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2015 3:46 AM CST
The asteroid "resembles a pickle or a chicken finger," according to Gizmodo.   (Arecibo Observatory/NASA/NSF via EarthSky)

(Newser) – After Halloween's "zombie comet," there will be another celestial visitor on Christmas Eve, and Asteroid 163899 is about as festive as a space rock can get, which is not at all. The object—also known as 2003 SD220—will be at its closest on Dec. 24, when it will be around 6.8 million miles away, almost 30 times the distance from the Earth to the moon, reports Popular Mechanics. The asteroid is a big one, with an estimated length of 1.25 miles, but NASA says there is zero risk of it hitting our planet anytime in the next 200 years, reports EarthSky, which notes that claims that this asteroid—or any asteroid—will cause earthquakes are "misleading and incorrect." (Christmas Day will have the first "Full Cold Moon" in many years.)

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