Asteroid

Asteroid 2014 DX110 makes its closest approach to Earth on March 5 at about 4 p.m. Wednesday. (NASA/JPL-CalTech / March 5, 2014)

An asteroid was passing within 217,000 miles of Earth on Wednesday afternoon, closer than the moon's distance from the planet.

The asteroid is known as 2014 DX110 and is estimated to be 100 feet wide, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. It was expected to reach its closest distance to Earth at about 4 p.m.

The Slooh Community Observatory was broadcasting the fly-by live online.

Scientists detect asteroids passing as closely about 20 times a year, according to JPL. The Near-Earth Object Observations Program, known as "Spaceguard," monitors them.

Scientists were confident the asteroid would pass within a safe distance from Earth.