Science

How to spot the massive asteroid passing by Earth right now

How to spot the massive asteroid passing by Earth right now

And while it's being characterized as a close pass to Earth, it will still be about 4.4 million miles away when it makes its closest pass Friday.

While there's no chance that it'll crash into Earth on this pass, there's still important science work to be done. The last large asteroid with a similar close approach was 4179 Toutatis, which passed just under four lunar distances (a little under a million miles) from the Earth on September 29th, 2004.

An asteroid two-and-a-half miles wide will miss the Earth by about 4.4 million miles on Friday, according to NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).

Scientists in California and Puerto Rico will capture high-resolution images of Florence to study its surface and dimensions in detail, while amateur astronomers can use a small telescope to catch the huge space rock as it moves through constellations Piscis Austrinus, Capricornus, Aquarius and Delphinus.

Asteroid Florence was discovered by Schelte "Bobby" Bus at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia in March 1981.

PSG defender Aurier closes in on Spurs move
Under normal circumstances, anyone with a prison sentence would not be granted a United Kingdom work visa for another five years. He has since protested his innocence and appealed, but the outcome is not yet known and complicated his switch to North London.

Officially designated 3122 Florence, the natural remnant of the formation of the solar system is the largest asteroid to pass so close by since NASA started tracking near-Earth asteroids. The space agency hopes to get an idea of what it looks like up to 30 feet and to get an accurate reading of the asteroid's size and shape.

The trajectory of the asteroid Florence, which will pass Earth on September 1. Asteroid Florence is expected to be an excellent target for ground-based radar observations, NASA said.

"Despite some interference from moonlight, 3122 Florence should be fairly easy to spot in even modest backyard telescopes", says Kelly Beatty, a senior editor at Sky & Telescope. Florence will be visible as a ninth-magnitude object in the night sky.

Sky & Telescope magazine has created charts to help those interested track the asteroid's path in the sky, CNET reported.

The best moment to see the asteroid from the USA will be 8 p.m. EDT on Saturday, according to S&T, as this is when the asteroid will pass much dimmer stars.


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