A close call of the astral kind, February 2013

The 50-yard-wide asteroid is expected to come within 13,000 miles of the Earh on Feb. 15, 2012. (Courtesy NASA\'s Near-Earth Object Program)

WASHINGTON – Call it a near-earth experience for a 50-yard-wide asteroid.

An asteroid is headed this way next year, and it will be a close call by celestial standards, says Donald Yeomans from NASA’S Near-Earth Object Program.

“It’s going to pass to within 3.4 earth radii of the earth’s surface on February 15 of next year. But it can’t get much closer. So there’s no chance of an impact, he says.

The asteroid will be coming very close to us, about 13,000 miles.

Yeomans says it’s close enough be lower than some earth-launched satellites, but the chances are very slim it would hit one.

When the time comes you may be able to see it with a telescope or even the naked eye.

WTOP’s Hank Silverberg contributed to this report. Follow Hank and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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