In Pictures: The sizzling world of asteroids

From new space mining venture to causing the end of the world, asteroids are a hot topic

Asteroid 2011 AG5 got a lot of attention early in 2012 because of a very unlikely scenario which would place it on an Earth-interception course 28 years from now. "In September 2013, we have the opportunity to make additional observations of 2011 AG5 when it comes within 91 million miles (147 million kilometers) of Earth," said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "It will be an opportunity to observe this space rock and further refine its orbit. Because of the extreme rarity of an impact by a near-Earth asteroid of this size, I fully expect we will be able to significantly reduce or rule out entirely any impact probability for the foreseeable future."

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