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While NORAD Tracks Santa, NASA Will Keep Watch On A Giant Asteroid This Christmas Eve

By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) - Government radars will be busier than normal on Christmas Eve tracking everything from Santa and severe weather to a giant asteroid that will make its closest approach to Earth on Thursday.

It's a pretty big asteroid known as 2003 SD220.

Scientists with NASA will be using radar to try and learn more about this object, including its size, shape and surface features as it zooms by.

RELATED: NORAD Tracks When Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town


The asteroid will be nearly 7 million miles away from Earth and poses no danger to the planet.

While Santa and his team of reindeer could catch a great view on their travels the space rock will not be in their path. But just to be safe they'll stay in close contact with the crew from NORAD in Colorado Springs.

Missile Commanders Lt. (L) and Lt. Col. Ken Reed confirm a launch warning over the phone during a practice drill at the North America Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Cheyenne Mountain Complex in November 1999. (credit: MARK LEFFINGWELL/AFP/Getty Images)

Meteorologist Chris Spears writes about stories related to weather and climate in Colorado. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.

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