A mile-wide asteroid is about to swing by the Earth in the closest shave we’ve had in over a decade. Nicknamed ‘The Rock’ because of its massive size, the asteroid is barreling towards us at 75,072 mph – and it’ll fly past Earth at 4.6 times the distance of the moon. Scientists don’t know much about The Rock – it was only spotted 3 years ago – but we do know that it is twice as reflective as the moon, so you might be able to see it fly past on its way through the galaxy.
Object 2014 J025 will fly 1,097,590 miles away from the earth tomorrow – and it won’t be this close again for at least another 400 years. We’ll be safe here on the ground, but it is also a pretty close shave – scientists call it “among the strongest asteroid radar targets of the year.”
A large ~2 km asteroid, 143404 (2003 BD44), will pass safely by the Earth today (22 Lunar Distance) pic.twitter.com/X4pWnQyjo1
— Ron Baalke (@RonBaalke) April 18, 2017
The Rock should pass by around 8:24 am (Eastern). This will be the closest asteroid this size to pass by Earth since September 2004, when 4179 Toutatis passed within 4 lunar distances. While there isn’t any chance it will hit Earth, it is a startling reminder of how close space debris comes to smacking into the planet all the time.
Via the Daily Mail