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Massive Asteroid to "Narrowly" Miss the Earth

Image: NASA

 
A rare astronomical event will occur on January 26th, when an asteroid estimated to be a third of a mile wide will "narrowly" miss Earth. The rock, labeled 2004 BL86, will come within 745,000 miles of our planet, or three times what the distance is between us and the moon. Though that distance sounds incredibly far, it's considered a narrrow encounter in terms of space.

Our miss with 2004 BL86 will be the closest an asteroid comes to Earth until August 7, 2027, when 1999 AN10 is predicted to fly by. 2004 BL86 is thought to be sufficiently bright to be seen with small telescopes and strong binoculars.

Read more and see a video about the event here.


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When they say the closest approach until 2027, they mean closest approach for a ~1km asteroid. About once a month a 10-100 m asteroid is spotted passing closer than the distance of the Moon. And in 2011, a 400 m asteroid passed just within the lunar distance too. There is a lot of stuff out there, just most of it is not that big.
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