Earth will see its largest asteroid fly-by in September

Three-mile asteroid is the largest Earth-buzzing object NASA's ever seen

A large near-Earth asteroid, at a distance of about 4.4 million miles, (7.0 million kilometers) is all set to safely pass by our planet on September 1. This encounter is the closest since 1890, and it won't come closer until 2500. Measurements from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and NEOWISE mission indicate it is about 4.4 kilometres in size.

In fact it will be passing so closely next Friday, that scientists located on the ground in California and Puerto Rico, will be able to study its surface and get a better idea of its precise dimensions, which are now only an estimate. But as ongoing studies and decades of tracking the larger asteroids has shown, they usually just pass Earth by. An official source from NASA says that many Asteroids have already passed Earth.

To get a sense of how close asteroids have come, a rock by the name 2017 AG13 buzzed within half the distance between the Earth and the moon earlier this year, according to Science Alert. During this time, it will be visible to those using small telescopes for several nights as it moves through the constellations of Piscis Austrinus, Capricornus, Aquarius and Delphinus.

If by some stroke of abysmally poor luck the asteroid did slam into our planet, it would nearly certainly be a climate changing event capable of wiping out an area the size of a small state. It is named in honor of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), the founder of modern nursing. Between now and then, it also flew by Earth on August 29th, 1930, passing Earth at a distance of about 7.8 million km (4.87 million mi). "Every amateur astronomer will be able to see it", European Space Agency's Near Earth Object segment co-manager Rüdiger Jehn said, according to Tech Times.

The US space agency is hoping that radar will successfully reveal the exact size of the asteroid, as well as interesting nooks and crannies on the surface. Scientists study these rocks to help understand the origin and composition of the Solar System.

More news: Pentagon sending more troops to Afghanistan

Asteroid 2012 TC4's trajectory for its October flight.

Okay, you might want to put your solar eclipse glasses on and sit down for this one: Scientists say a giant asteroid will pass by Earth next month, and it's coming right for us.

Much larger than those two and the energy released starts to rival nuclear bombs.

The project is led by Professor Vishnu Reddy from the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson.

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