A small asteroid just discovered last Sunday night (August 31), will pass extremely close to Earth this Sunday, September 7, 2014. At the time of closest approach – based on current calculations to be about 2:18 p.m. EDT (11:18 a.m. PDT / 18:18 UTC) – will be approximately one-tenth the distance from the center of Earth to the moon, or about 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers). That’s about the same distance as geosynchronous weather and communication satellites, which orbit at about 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers).
Asteroid 2014 RC will be roughly over New Zealand when it’s closest. From its reflected brightness, astronomers estimate that the asteroid is about 60 feet (20 meters) in size.
At the time of closest approach, asteroid 2014 RC will have an apparent magnitude (brightness) of about 11.5, rendering it unobservable to the unaided eye. However, amateur astronomers with small telescopes might glimpse the fast-moving appearance of this near-Earth asteroid.
The asteroid will pass below Earth and the geosynchronous ring of communications and weather satellites. This asteroid does not appear to pose any threat to Earth or satellites.2014 RC’s orbit will bring it back to our planet’s neighborhood in the future. The asteroid’s future motion will be closely monitored