Speed Reading — NASA and Asteroids - Level 3 — 300 wpm

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Scientists from NASA have confirmed that asteroids will not be a danger to Earth for the next 100 years. This is good news for anyone who was worrying about the end of the world. NASA has been monitoring an asteroid called Apophis for 17 years. They discovered the 335-metre space rock in 2004. They thought it could be a danger to our planet, so they put it on their list of the most hazardous asteroids that could threaten Earth. The scientists originally said the asteroid could kill over 10 million people if it hit Earth. They predicted it could hit our planet in 2029. They later changed this to 2068. However, their latest prediction is that Earth will be safe from Apophis for the next 100 years.

The scientists used radar to predict the asteroid's orbit around the sun. NASA scientist Marina Brozovic said: "We were able to acquire incredibly precise information about its distance to an accuracy of about 150 meters." She said the giant space rock is currently "a safe distance of 10.6 million miles away from Earth". However, Apophis will come closer in 2029. It will come within 20,000 miles of Earth on April the 13th in that year. Another scientist was glad Apophis is no longer a danger to us. He said: "There's a certain sense of satisfaction to see it removed from the risk list, and we're looking forward to the science we might uncover during its close approach to Earth in 2029."

Comprehension questions
  1. What kind of news does the article say there is?
  2. What are some people worrying about?
  3. How big is the asteroid?
  4. How many people did scientists say could die in an asteroid strike?
  5. When did scientists change the date of an asteroid strike to?
  6. What did scientists use to track the asteroid's orbit around the sun?
  7. How accurately can scientists' track the asteroid's path?
  8. How far away is the asteroid from Earth?
  9. When will the asteroid be 20,000 miles from Earth?
  10. How did a scientist feel about the asteroid's removal from a risk list?

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