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Killer Asteroid Headed Towards Earth

Starry-eyed humans, brace yourself and fasten your seatbelts. The planet Earth is about to cross paths with a massive asteroid on July 3.

The asteroid, named 2004XP14, measuring a half-mile in diameter, more or less, is hurtling through the darkness of space toward our planet. Even though the chances of it hitting Earth are nil, by cosmic standards, the asteroid will pass alarmingly close to our beloved blue orb next week. At its closest approach to Earth, the asteroid will brush past at almost the same distance of the moon from our planet.

Too small to be considered as planets, asteroids are said to be metallic and rocky objects that revolve around the sun. Sometimes called minor planets, they come in various sizes, from the mammoth Ceres, measuring about 1,000 kilometers in diameter, to the tiniest, pebble-sized fragments. Sixteen of these asteroids are known to have a diameter of 240 kilometers or more and they are scattered inside the Earth's orbit and beyond Saturn's. The majority of asteroids are herded within the main belt between Mars and Jupiter. Some of these have become wayward and unfortunately cross Earth's path. Millions of years ago, the Earth had been hit several times by some of the space rocks. One notable planetary scar, the well-preserved Barringer meteor crater is located in Winslow, Arizona.


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