Washington: A massive asteroid estimated to be 2.7 miles wide is set to make a ‘relatively close encounter’ with Earth on September 1.
Dubbed ‘Florence,’ the huge space rock will pass just 4.4 million miles from our planet – or, about 18 times the distance between Earth and the moon.
According to NASA, this is the closest an asteroid of this size has come since they first began tracking near-Earth objects, giving scientists an unprecedented opportunity to study it up close through ground-based radar observations.
While it may sound alarming, NASA says asteroid Florence will safely fly past Earth at a distance of about 4.4 million miles (7 million kilometers).
It’s not the closest encounter our planet has seen with an NEO, but for this distance, the experts say it is the largest.
The giant space rock was first discovered by Australian scientists back in 1981. This year’s appearance will be the closest it’s been to Earth since 1890, and going forward it’s not expected to come around again until the year 2500.