Tags: NASA | asteroid | pass by | earth | september

NASA: 3-Mile-Wide Asteroid Set to Pass by Earth Sept. 1

Image: NASA: 3-Mile-Wide Asteroid Set to Pass by Earth Sept. 1

By    |   Friday, 18 Aug 2017 07:08 PM

Labor Day weekend is set to get off to a stellar start when a 2.7-mile-wide asteroid has a "relatively close encounter" with Earth on Friday, Sept. 1, according to NASA officials, The Daily Mail reported Friday.

The asteroid, named Florence, will be the largest to pass this close to Earth since NASA began keeping track of near-Earth objects (NEO). Its trajectory will place it 4.4 million miles from the planet, roughly 18 times the distance between Earth and the moon.

"While many known asteroids have passed by closer to Earth than Florence will on Sept. 1, all of those were estimated to be smaller," said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

"Florence is the largest asteroid to pass by our planet this close since the NASA program to detect and track near-Earth asteroids began," he added.

The asteroid will be visible even using small telescopes beginning in late August and offers scientists the opportunity to study up close details as small as 30 feet.

The asteroid is named after 19th century statistician and nurse Florence Nightingale and was first spotted in 1981. When it passes Earth, it will be the closest since 1890, and the giant rock won't come this close again until 2500.

NASA announced earlier this month an asteroid called 2012 TC4 that's roughly the size of a house will pass near Earth in early October. Though it will fly inside the moon's orbit, it will miss geostationary satellites.

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Labor Day weekend is set to get off to a stellar start when a 2.7-mile-wide asteroid has a "relatively close encounter" with Earth on Friday, Sept. 1, according to NASA officials, The Daily Mail reported Friday.
NASA, asteroid, pass by, earth, september
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2017-08-18
Friday, 18 Aug 2017 07:08 PM
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