Science

Duck! Huge Asteroid to Blast Past Earth September 1

Duck! Huge Asteroid to Blast Past Earth September 1

A giant asteroid is headed in our direction, but no worries, it'll just be a close call. It will not come this close again until 2500. Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., notes that while many other asteroids have passed much closer to our planet, this one-measuring 2.7 miles wide-is much larger. This time a huge asteroid will pass by the Earth.

An asteroid the size of 40 football fields stacked end to end will pass very close by Earth today, the largest such asteroid to pass by our planet at such a close distance since NASA began tracking them.

Florence, named after Florence Nightingale, was discovered by USA astronomer Schelte "Bobby" Bus in 1981 while he was working at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.

Nasa estimated that an asteroid the size of a auto hits the Earth's atmosphere approximately once per year, but decays before reaching the ground.

NASA says it may soon have the capability to send astronauts to the International Space Station from US soil for the first time since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011. Radar imaging is planned at NASA's Goldstone Solar System Radar in California and at the National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.




Amateur astronomers will be able to view the asteroid, Kelly Beatty, a senior editor at Sky & Telescope magazine, said.

According to Sky & Telescope magazine, Florence viewing might have a little interference given the fact that the moon reached its first-quarter phase on Tuesday, raising its level of brightness.

Florence makes its closest pass during the daylight hours in the US, but it's so slow-moving and bright that it's still possible to see.

Map showing asteroid Florence's flyby.

The best moment to see the asteroid from the USA will be 8 p.m. EDT on Saturday, according to S&T, as this is when the asteroid will pass much dimmer stars. During the flyby, Florence will travel south to north, passing through Capricornus, Aquarius, Delphinus, Vulpecula, and Cygnus.


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