Asteroid 3122 Florence flyby illustration

Asteroid 3122 Florence flyby illustration

A scaled illustration of the flyby of 3122 Florence. On September 1, 2017, it skimmed past Earth from a mere 4.4 million miles (7 million km) distance – which is about 20 times the distance between Earth and Moon. The huge asteroid, which is around 2.7 mile (4.4 km) wide, was the “biggest object passed this close to Earth since the NASA program to detect and track near-Earth asteroids began”, according to Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. This encounter of 3122 Florence was the closest by this asteroid since 1890 and will remain the closest it will ever be until after 2500. Image:
NASA

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