updated 7/3/2006 10:43:30 AM ET 2006-07-03T14:43:30

Most Americans slept right through the Earth’s latest encounter with a massive asteroid from space.

Scientists say the huge object — about a half-mile wide — whizzed harmlessly past the planet early today.

It was about 269-thousand miles away.  That’s slightly farther away than the moon.

More than three dozen asteroids have flown closer to Earth in the last few years, but scientists believe this was among the largest.

Scientists say this asteroid may approach the Earth ten more times this century.

None of these approaches is expected to pose a threat.

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