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Three-mile-wide asteroid to pass by the Earth

Posted on Sunday, 20 August, 2017 | Comment icon 26 comments

The asteroid is not thought to pose a risk to our planet. Image Credit: NASA
The huge space rock is due to pass within a safe distance of our planet at the beginning of September.
Named 'Florence' after 19th-century nurse Florence Nightingale, the asteroid will pass no closer than seven million kilometres (18 times the distance of the Moon) on September 1st after which it will not come anywhere close again for another 500 years.

"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 of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies.

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

There are currently over 1,800 potentially hazardous near-Earth objects being tracked by NASA.

Fortunately though, none of these are currently thought to pose a risk to our planet.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (26)

Tags: Asteroid, Earth

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #17 Posted by rod64 on 6 September, 2017, 2:53
So Waspie, how close did it actually come to the Earth? Something in that article is not right, it passed by at 145 million miles, 18 times the distance of the Moon. Last time I checked I thought the moon was approximately 238000 Miles away. By their math, the Moon would be over 8 million miles away. I'm sure it passed much closer than 145 million miles.
Comment icon #18 Posted by seanjo on 6 September, 2017, 4:54
Depends a lot on velocity and distance...
Comment icon #19 Posted by taniwha on 6 September, 2017, 5:33
I wonder if NASA plan on announcing every rock they can see passing by, it sure makes people edgy.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 6 September, 2017, 17:30
Yes, And speak for yourself.
Comment icon #21 Posted by taniwha on 6 September, 2017, 17:36
Is it even necessary? Why would they go to such great lengths to let everyone in the world know what rock is passing, where it is and what time it will be there? Should anyone even care?
Comment icon #22 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 6 September, 2017, 17:40
I must be missing something because I can not find that figure in the original article. It does say: and: Which is about right.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 6 September, 2017, 17:47
Yes. How can astronomers observe objects if NASA keeps their existence secret? It's called learning taniwha (try it some time). In announcing the orbit of each object that passes Earth it allows for further study. Further study leads to further knowledge. NASA is also in the planetary protection business. In order to protect Earth from an asteroid threat it is necessary to detect the objects which ARE a potential threat and discount those that aren't. What you personally care about is your own concern. Fortunately there are members of the human race that do care and do want to learn, that'... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by taniwha on 7 September, 2017, 0:23
You have more chance of twisting your ankle walking over river rocks than being hit by asteroids! You are in more danger from a rock tumbling down in a slip than an asteroid! You will live a more meaningful life implementing stone tools than worrying about asteroids!
Comment icon #25 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 7 September, 2017, 11:28
Tell it to the dinosaurs. Oh, you can't. That thing you continually insist can't happen made most of the life on earth extinct. Tell that to the forest of Tunguska... what's left standing of it. Tell it to the inhabitants of Chelyabinsk. A large area of forest in Tunguska was laid waste by a meteor just 109 years ago. Chelyabinsk was damaged and nearly 1,500 people injured. That was just over 4 years ago. You carry on happily claiming it can't happen, after all ignorance is bliss. The rest of us will engage in rational, evidence based thinking
Comment icon #26 Posted by taniwha on 7 September, 2017, 12:03
The universe was a very different place 65 million years ago. The world was very different 65 million years ago too. For a start no humans even existed. Fast forward a few million years and yet here we are. The odds of humans getting decimated by asteroids actually decrease over time due to the expansion of space. I feel as if I have told you this before. If anyone has an irrational fear of space rocks here is some advice.... Be wary of what lies underfoot least you stub your toe on a pebble. ( the pebble in this case being meteorphobia )

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