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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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Earlier this month, Russia hosted the Fourth International Meeting of the Arctic Council at Naryan-Mar, a seaport in the Barents Sea, to discuss issues relating to the infrastructure and safety of ships passing through the Northern Sea Route (NSR).