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Bay Area Viewers Attempt Glimpse Of Passing Asteroid

OAKLAND (CBS SF) - A large asteroid passed close to Earth late Friday morning, making its way near the Bay Area.

According to Oakland-based Chabot Space and Science Center astronomer Ben Burress, the asteroid missed Earth by about 17,230 miles, passing closer than many of earth's satellites.

NASA streamed video of the approximately 200-foot wide asteroid starting at 11 a.m.

The asteroid was officially named 2012 DA14.

Throughout the day, telescope viewing will be available at Chabot Space and Science Center, followed by a 7 p.m. asteroid viewing party at the center at 10000 Skyline Blvd. in Oakland.

In a similar cosmic event, a meteor exploded Thursday night over Central Russia in the Chelyabinsk region, causing damage and injuries in the aftermath of the blast. The blast was a sonic boom from the meteor entering Earth's atmosphere, Burress said.

The meteor explosion was unrelated to the asteroid passing by Earth late Friday morning, he said.

"That object came from a different direction," Burress said.

The object was also much smaller than the large asteroid.

The asteroid fly-by path has been tracked for the past year, Burress said, while the Russian meteor was an unexpected event.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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