23:36 GMT +321 January 2020
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    The asteroid, a third of a mile across, passed within 745,000 miles of our planet on Monday, and was visible with telescopes and binoculars just after 11:00 AM ET, according to NASA.

    Although asteroids pass Earth all the time, BL86 is considered one of the larger objects to pass the planet this century.

    Don Yeomans, a recently retired NASA manager, found this flyby an opportunity for scientists to study asteroids up close. 

    “While it poses no threat to Earth in the foreseeable future, it’s a relatively close pass by a relatively large asteroid, so it provides us a unique opportunity to observe and learn more,” he said.

    NASA used radar and microwave radiation to take snapshots of the object as it passed.

    An asteroid the size of 2004 BL86, named because of its discovery in 2004, will not come around for another 12 years.

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