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Small asteroid to zip harmlessly past Earth

April 8, 2010

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PASADENA, Calif.—NASA scientists have updated information on the path of a newly discovered asteroid that is set to make a safe flyby past Earth.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena says the latest trajectory indicates that the closest approach for asteroid 2010 GA6 will be just slightly beyond the moon's orbit, about 270,000 miles from Earth. The time of its closest pass will be 7:06 p.m. PDT on Thursday.

NASA routinely tracks asteroids and comets that make close approaches to Earth. In January, another small asteroid made an even closer approach to Earth, passing within 76,000 miles.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- NASA says a newly discovered asteroid will whiz harmlessly past Earth on Thursday.

The asteroid dubbed 2010 GA6 will safely fly by the planet shortly after 4 p.m. PDT.

At the time of its closest pass, the 71-foot-wide space rock will be 223,000 miles away from Earth. That's about 16,000 miles closer than the moon.

NASA routinely tracks asteroids and comets that make close approaches to Earth. In January, another small asteroid made an even closer approach to Earth, passing within 76,000 miles.

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