Large space rock flies past earth

  • 10 January 2013
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A space camera captures the big rock in flight

Space enthusiasts have been following a 300 metre-wide asteroid as it flew past Earth.

The space rock, named Apophis, is being watched closely by scientists, who say there is a very small chance it could collide with our planet in the future.

Its most recent fly-by was at a safe distance - about 14 million km away!

But the asteroid was close enough for astronomers to study it and check out whether it could be a risk in the future.

Collision course?

Apophis was too far away to see with the naked eye, but people could watch it online thanks to a special space camera.

The large rock was first discovered in 2004. At the time, scientists calculated the odds of it colliding with our planet.

Scientists believe the orbit Apophis is taking will bring it much closer to Earth in 2029.

But don't worry, they believe the chances of it striking Earth are very, very slim.