SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

An asteroid half the size of a football field will be making the closest approach to Earth in recorded history on Feb 15.

Asteroid 2012 DA-14 will pass by our planet around 11:24 a.m. Friday but will only be visible in the southern hemisphere.

NASA says the space rock will come about 17,000 miles above Earth's surface, inside the belt of orbiting telecommunication satellites. 2012 DA-14 will be one-tenth the distance between Earth and the moon.

NASA says, on average, an asteroid of this size impacts earth about once every 12,000 years.