POSTED: 9:09 a.m. HST, May 31, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 9:09 a.m. HST, May 31, 2013
WASHINGTON » Have no fear: The White House says an asteroid more than 1 1/2 miles long poses no threat to planet Earth.
The big rock called Asteroid 1998 QE2 was making its closest approach to Earth today, keeping a safe distance of 3.6 million miles, or 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest was asked about the asteroid during a briefing. He says scientists have concluded the asteroid "poses no threat to planet Earth."
He added, to laughter, "I never really thought I'd be standing up here saying that."
The asteroid is believed to be about 1.7 miles long.
The White House was hosting a "We The Geeks" Google+ Hangout today, bringing together NASA's deputy administrator and scientists to talk about asteroids.