"We're extremely confident, 100 percent confident, that this is not a threat," said the manager of NASA's Near Earth Object Program, Don Yeomans. "But it is an opportunity."
The asteroid named 2005 YU55 is being watched by ground antennas as it approaches from the direction of the sun. The last time it came within so-called shouting distance was 200 years ago.
Closest approach will occur at 9:45am on Wednesday NZT when the asteroid passes within 325,000km of Earth. That's closer than the roughly 38,6242km between the Earth and the moon.
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