Next week, a 45 meter-wide space rock will zoom safely by. But as far as cosmic distances go, it will be a close shave.
Asteroid 2012 DA14 will make close approach on Feb. 15, flying closer than geosynchronous orbit (27,700 kilometers or 17,200 miles or 1/13th the Earth-moon distance). So unless you're a communications satellite, you have nothing to fear. But even if you were a communications satellite, it's unlikely you'd get swatted by the asteroid juggernaut as space is really, really big.
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"NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office can accurately predict the asteroid's path with the observations obtained, and it is therefore known that there is no chance that the asteroid might be on a collision course with Earth," asteroid hunters at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., announced on Feb. 1. 2012 DA14 was discovered in February 2012 by the La Sagra Sky Survey in Spain, so its orbital trajectory is very well known.
But the rock will come close enough to Earth's gravitational well so its orbit will be dramatically modified - after its near-Earth encounter, asteroid 2012 DA14′s orbital period around the sun will be shortened from 368 to 317 days.