NASA has recalculated the time of closest approach for this event to be about 3 1/2 hours later than initially reported.
The asteroid will make its closest approach at 1:14 p.m. EDT (1714 GMT) on June 27 and will pass just over 7,500 miles (12,000 kilometers) above the Earth's surface, NASA officials say.
The asteroid, codenamed 2011 MD, will be sailing high off the coast of Antarctica, almost 2,000 miles (3,218 km) south-southwest of South Africa.
Asteroid 2011 MD was discovered Wednesday (June 22) by LINEAR, a pair of robotic telescopes in New Mexico that scan the skies for near-Earth asteroids. The best estimates suggest that this asteroid is between 29 to 98 feet (9 to 30 meters) wide.
An object of this size can be expected to come this close to Earth about every 6 years or so on average, according to NASA's Near-Earth Object Officein Pasadena, Calif..
Although "there is no chance that 2011 MD will hit Earth,” according to astronomers with NASA's Asteroid Watch program, but scientists will use the close pass as opportunity to study it w/ radar observations."
Even if the asteroid were to enter Earth's atmosphere, a “stony asteroid such as 2011MD would break up in Earth's atmosphere & not cause ground damage," Asteroid Watch scientists said.
The asteroid's upcoming Earth flyby will be a close shave, but not a record for nearby passing asteroids. The record is currently held by the asteroid 2011 CQ1, which came within 3,400 miles (5,471 kilometers) of Earth on Feb. 4 of this year.