A huge asteroid is headed in Earth's direction, but don't worry, we're not in any danger of being hit by the giant space rock.
A huge asteroid is headed toward Earth, but fear not, it’s going to miss us. On Sept. 1, an asteroid that is being called “Florence” will pass just 4.5 million miles from Earth, which would put it at 18 times the distance from the Earth to the moon.
Now, that may not seem like that close, but it’s a bit close for comfort compared to the incredible size of this beast of an asteroid. At 2.7 miles in width, Florence is the largest near-Earth asteroid since NASA started tracking them, and we won’t see it return to Earth’s general vicinity until 2500.
You won’t be able to see it with the naked eye, but it is possible to spot it with a small telescope on nights between late August and early September. It will be located near the Capricornus and Aquarius constellations.
“Asteroid Florence was discovered by Schelte “Bobby” Bus at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia in March 1981,,” a NASA statement reads. “It is named in honor of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), the founder of modern nursing. The 2017 encounter is the closest by this asteroid since 1890 and the closest it will ever be until after 2500. Florence will brighten to ninth magnitude in late August and early September, when it will be visible in small telescopes for several nights as it moves through the constellations Piscis Austrinus, Capricornus, Aquarius and Delphinus.”