Three mile wide asteroid set for Earth near-miss on THIS date


According to NASA, this is the closest an asteroid of this size has come since they first began tracking near-Earth objects. Although it will not be the closest asteroid to pass near Earth, it is by far the largest, scientists said.

Small asteroids fly past Earth several times every week but this will be the closest approach for an asteroid of this size. But as ongoing studies and decades of tracking the larger asteroids has shown, they usually just pass Earth by.

While Florence is one of the bigger asteroids being tracked by NASA it is by no means the largest.

Florence has not come this close to the Earth since 1890 and will not pass so close again until after the year 2500.

An asteroid that crashed into the Gulf of Mexico 66 million years ago is believed to be responsible for the extinction of dinosaurs. The asteroid, named Florence, is one of the biggest near-Earth objects (NEOs) now being tracked by NASA and will be the largest to pass us at a relatively close distance since the space agency began monitoring them 20 years ago.

This relatively close encounter provides an opportunity for scientists to study this asteroid up close, said the space agency.

"While many known asteroids have passed by closer to Earth than Florence will on September 1, all of those were estimated to be smaller", said Mr Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). has talked to Areg Mikayelyan, Director of Byurakan Observatory, about the possible effects of the asteroid on the Earth while passing by it.

Florence is expected to be an excellent target for ground-based radar observations.

The asteroid was first spotted in March 1981 by astronomer Schelte "Bobby" Bus at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.

It is named in the honour of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. The team expects to find out the real size of the asteroid and surface details up to a distance of around 30 feet.

In other asteroid news, 2012 TC4 will safely fly past our planet on October 12 and is not expected to come closer than 4,200 miles. The asteroid Florence can be seen using small telescopes, starting late August to early September.