SCARESTEROID of the week to miss Earth on Friday

Feel free to complain on Saturday if we were wrong

Artist's conception of a watery asteroid being torn apart white dwarf GD 61

The UK press has noticed that NASA's Small Object Database Browser seems to show an asteroid passing close to Earth – and therefore we're all going to die on Friday.

We won't: while object 2014-YB35 will pass within 2.8 million miles (4.48 million km) of Earth, which qualifies as a “near miss” in astronomical terms, it's not just going to pass beyond the moon but is not even the nearest asteroid encounter for Q1 2015.

That laurel belongs to 2004-BL86, which swung by in January and came within 1.2 million km (745,000 miles) at its nearest approach.

A University of Buckinghamshire astronomy professor, Bill Napier, probably wasn't commenting on 2014-YB35 when he told the Express that there's a risk of a comet hitting Earth, because that was interpreted as meaning this comet “poses a very real threat”.

YB35's been observed 380 times, so The Register figures NASA probably has it pretty well scoped. The agency reckons its next visit, in 2033, will be a little closer than Friday's flyby – but still not an impact.

Maybe we're wrong and the Express is right. Let us know, if the world happens to be destroyed on Friday and we don't notice. ®

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