Asteroid will pass close to Earth on Wednesday

Asteroids, once called the "vermin of the sky" for obstructing the view of stargazers, are now seen as an integral part of deep space exploration.

An asteroid is headed this way. But even though it will come closer than the moon, astronomers say it poses no danger.

The newly discovered asteroid, called 2014 DX110, will hurtle between the moon and Earth at about 33,000 miles per hour on Wednesday, coming closest at 5:07 p.m. EST.

It will pass an estimated 217,000 miles from Earth. That's approximately nine-tenths of the distance between the moon and Earth.

The asteroid is an estimated 45 to 130 feet across. Relatively close approaches occur all the time, although DX110 is closer than many.

At least a dozen asteroids have passed closer to Earth since October 2008. The closest was on Feb. 4, 2011, when asteroid 2011 CQ1 passed within 7,294 miles of us

The website of the Slooh space telescope will stream a live feed of the flyby, as will

When Slooh attempted to bring viewers a live view of a similar flyby on Feb. 17, the asteroid didn't cooperate. It didn't show, and researchers were not sure where it ended up. Slooh challenged amateur astronomers to help find the asteroid, according to the International Business Times.

"We continue to discover these potentially hazardous asteroids - sometimes only days before they make their close approaches to Earth," Paul Coz, Slooh's technical and research director, said in the statement at that time.

This non-threatening asteroid will pass by a little more than a year after an unexpected asteroid exploded in the sky over Russia in February 2013, injuring 1,200 people following a massive shock wave that shattered windows and damaged buildings. Before striking the city of Chelyabinsk, the asteroid glowed at 30 times the brightness of the sun.