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Asteroid to Make Close Pass to Earth on Sunday

A newly discovered asteroid will make a close pass to the Earth on Sunday.

At the time of its closest approach about 2:18 p.m. EDT, the asteroid will be near New Zealand, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said.

At the time of closest approach, Asteroid 2014 RC will be approximately one-tenth the distance from the center of Earth to the moon, or about 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers), the JPL said.

It will pass away from the communications and weather satellites orbiting 22,000 miles (40,000 km).

There will be good viewing conditions with generally clear and sunny skies from the Pacific Northwest through the central and Northern Plains into the Great Lakes and Northeast, Meteorologist Brian Edwards said.

"The problem areas will be across the southern mid-Atlantic down into the Carolinas and Southeast with showers and thunderstorms scattered about the area," he said.

Unsettled weather will also occur from Texas back into the Desert Southwest and deserts of Southern California as moisture from Norbert gets drawn into that region, producing showers and thunderstorms with flash flooding possible, Edwards said.

Asteroid 2014 RC was first discovered on Aug. 31 by the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona, and independently detected the next night by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Maui, Hawaii. Additional follow-up observations confirmed the orbit, the JPL said.