The Largest Near-Earth Object (NEO) To Whizz Past Earth Next Month

James Marshall
August 19, 2017

Other asteroid that have passed even closer to Earth earlier were all estimated to be smaller, he said.

As said by the independent space agency, asteroids passing close to Earth are a common event, and thankfully majority are usually few meters wide. At 4.4 km in size, asteroid Florence is one of the biggest, and if it were ever to crash into Earth it would be a swift Game Over for humanity. For example, this September 1st, the Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) known as 3122 Florence, will pass by Earth, but poses no danger of hitting us.

Planet Earth is set for a close shave next month when a rock measuring 4.4 km (2.7 miles) will pass by our planet next month.

An asteroid that crashed into the Gulf of Mexico 66 million years ago is believed to be responsible for the extinction of dinosaurs. This impact also destroyed three-quarters of the plant and animal species on Earth, hence why organizations like NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) is in he habit of tracking the larger NEAs.

Florence is 2.7 miles (4.4 kilometers) across and will come within a celestial spitting distance of Earth on September 1 when it closes to within around 4.4 million miles (7 million kilometers) of our fair planet. In a recent statement, NASA has confirmed that asteroid Florence, whose approximate mass is around three mile, making it the largest Near-Earth Object (NEO) will whizz past earth on 1st September.

Luckily, although it's about to make its closest pass on record, NASA says there's no chance of a collision this time, or at any point in at least the next 500 years.

Chodas also said that Florence is the biggest asteroid to whiz past earth since NASA launched its program to identify and track near-earth asteroids. The team expects to find out the real size of the asteroid and surface details up to a distance of around 30 feet.

NASA will use the Goldstone Solar System Radar in California and at the National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico to study Florence. It was named in honor of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) the founder of modern nursing.

The asteroid is expected to be visible via small telescopes across several nights ass it moves through Piscis Austrinus, Capricornus, Aquarius and Delphinus, NASA says in the release.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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