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MOSCOW, March 8 (RIA Novosti) – Two asteroids, one of them bigger in size than the celestial body that burst over Russia last month, will fly by the Earth on Saturday, though not as close as to threaten collision.
The 2013 EC20 was discovered on Thursday by the Catalina Sky Survey project, which estimated it size at between 3 and 12 meters. At 5:57 am Moscow time (1:57 UTC) on Saturday, the asteroid will pass about 169,000 kilometers (105,000 miles) from the Earth, according to the Massachusetts-based Minor Planet Center.
About 9.5 hours later the same day, the 2013 ET, sized between 45 and 140 meters, will pass 972,000 kilometers (604,000 miles) close to the planet. It will be monitored by a NASA radar in Goldstone, California.
A still bigger 2009 EM1, estimated at 49-160 meters in size, is also heading the Earth’s way, but its flyby distance at 22:04 Moscow time (18:04 UTC) on Friday will be 18 million kilometers (11 million miles), or 48 times the lunar distance.
A meteor estimated between 17 and 20 meters in size exploded over Russia’s Chelyabinsk Region on February 15. About 1,500 people were injured, most of them by glass shattered by the shockwave from the meteor, which was the largest object to enter the planet’s atmosphere in 83 years.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.