Asteroid fly-by helps NASA with warning system test

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NASA using asteroid to test Earth alert systems.

It's being called a cosmic fire drill.

NASA is using an asteroid's fly-by to test Earth's warning network for incoming space rocks.

The small asteroid passed within 27,000 miles of Antarctica around 12:42 Thursday morning.

Scientists consider that distance pretty close for an asteroid.

The asteroid that is about the size of a house was first discovered in 2012.


Until now, researchers relied on simulations with no actual asteroids to test the alert system.

NASA will continue to track the asteroid for another week.

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sciencenasawarningu.s. & worldspaceHouston
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