By: April Carson
The world is about to find out what it would be like if we were all suddenly faced with an enormous space rock 3.5 million miles away from Earth - but don't worry!
This will only give us a chance at seeing one of these objects up close and personal before they disappear again into their home galaxy far beyond solar systems where no human has gone before.
The object is believed to be between 240 and 535 yards in diameter, according to experts.
That would make it larger than the Empire State Building, the Shard, and the Eiffel Tower at its longest length. It'd be even bigger than the Statue of Liberty.
Asteroids, or as they are sometimes called minor planets, are small rocky bodies orbiting the Sun. Although most asteroids lie in a region between Mars and Jupiter called the asteroid belt, there are also many asteroids that orbit closer to Earth.
Some of these near-Earth asteroids can get close enough to our planet to be considered a potential threat.
This is not the first time that an asteroid has flown this close to Earth. In fact, it happens quite often.
In September, another large asteroid will make a similar approach.
So, while an asteroid coming this close to Earth is not cause for alarm, it is a reminder of the dangers that exist in space.
On Sunday, May 15, the asteroid — formally known as 388945 (2008 TZ3) — is expected to approach Earth.
It's not the first time we've seen this asteroid, and it won't be the last. It passed us in May 2020 previously without issue.
It was also much closer, at 1.7 million miles away in the past. This time, it will approach at a relatively safe distance.
That's still close enough for scientists to take notice and make predictions about its trajectory.
This time, it'll come within 0.032au of Earth — that's just under 3.2 million miles, or about 13 times the distance from Earth to the moon.
NASA has classified the asteroid as a "potentially hazardous object," or PHO.
It spins around the sun every two years, giving us a hello and goodbye. It does this about every two years, alternating between Earth and the moon.
This weekend's flyby will be the closest we'll see the asteroid for the rest of our lives.
It'll zip by once more in May 2024, but a great deal farther, at 6.9 million miles away.
The asteroid is thought to be made of iron and nickel.
At its closest approach this weekend, it will be traveling at around 27,400 miles per hour.
The next time it will approach as near to this weekend won't be until May 2163. So if you want to see it, this is your chance.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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