19:46 GMT +319 September 2019
Listen Live
    Asteroid

    Duck! Huge Asteroid to Blast Past Earth September 1

    CC0 / UKT2
    World
    Get short URL
    161
    Subscribe

    On the first of September an asteroid nearly 3 miles wide will fly past Earth at a distance of 4.4 million miles.

    Named Asteroid 3122 Florence after Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, this will be the largest heavenly body to sail near Earth since the 1990s, when NASA first started tracking such phenomena.

    "While many known asteroids have passed by closer to Earth than Florence will on Sept. 1, all of those were estimated to be smaller," NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) Manager Paul Chodas said earlier this month from Pasadena, California. 

    Estimated to be about 2.7 miles in diameter, an object the size of Florence would have a global impact if it struck the Earth, though, of course, this isn’t expected. Another object isn’t expected to make a similarly close approach until the year 2500.

    Scientists will be able to use the Arecibo and Goldstone antennae from the Earth’s surface to study the asteroid as it makes its close pass, and with its magnitude and movements through the Delphinus, Aquarius, Capricorn and Pisces Austrinus constellations, amateur astronomers may be able to see Florence as well.

    Sky and Telescope Senior Editor Kelly Beatty said, "Despite some interference from moonlight, 3122 Florence should be fairly easy to spot in even modest backyard telescopes," according to CNet.

    Astronomer Schelte Bus first discovered 3122 Florence in 1981 from Australia’s Sliding Spring Observatory. The asteroid’s distance from the sun ranges from 1.0 to 2.5 astronomical units and it has an orbital period of 2.4 years.

    Related:

    Sea King’s Fury: Earth-Sized Storm Spotted in Neptune’s Atmosphere
    You’re Getting Warmer: Earth to Heat Up 2 Degrees Celsius by 2100, Studies Say
    N Korea Threatens to ‘Wipe US From the Face of the Earth’ With Nuclear Strike
    What’s Out There? Near-Earth Red Dwarf Star Emitting Unexplained Radio Signals
    Move Over, Cockroaches! Scientists Identify Final Survivor of Earth Apocalypse
    Tags:
    Asteroid, Earth
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik