Environment & Science

Asteroid to make close but harmless swing by Earth

An asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier is poised to swing by Earth at about 3:28 p.m. on Tuesday. The closest the quarter-mile-wide space rock will come to our planet is within 202,000 miles.

Scientists have been tracking the asteroid and say that although it will come close to Earth, it will be harmless.

Experts at NASA's Near-Earth Object Program, which monitors asteroids and comets, say there's zero chance of an impact. They're using the close encounter to learn more about the asteroid known as 2005 YU55.

Since late last week, antennas at NASA's Deep Space Network in California have been tracking the spinning asteroid. The last time one this big zipped by Earth was in 1976.

Amateur skygazers with a 6-inch telescope or larger may glimpse the asteroid if skies are clear and they know where to look.