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Florence Asteroid: Earth To Avoid Collision On September 1 Close Call

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Florence Asteroid: Earth To Avoid Collision On September 1 Close Call

Postby MrFredPFL » Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:44 am

Story :

On Sept. 1, a large asteroid named Florence will come closer to Earth than any asteroid of its size for as long as NASA has been monitoring near-Earth asteroids. But don’t worry, Florence isn’t on track to hit us, this time at least.

The asteroid is about 2.7 miles in diameter, according to NASA’s best estimates. It was discovered in 1981 by S. J. Bus and was named Asteroid 3122 Florence after Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. It’s classified as “potentially hazardous” among all the near-Earth asteroids NASA tracks.

So just how close will “potentially hazardous” space rock come to Earth on Sept. 1? About 4.4 million miles. That’s about the distance between the Earth and the moon times 18. While it may seem far, it’s practically colliding in space distance. But it’s still enough distance that it will present no danger while offering scientists on Earth a front row seat for detailed observation.

The close approach is expected to present good ground-based radar observations, according to NASA. These observations could help provide new details about the asteroid like it’s exact size and any surface details. Previously this asteroid was only ever this close to Earth in 1890, and it won’t be this close again until 2500 so this is one of the only chances researchers will have to get a good up-close look at it from Earth.

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