With each passing day, it feels as though the world is inching closer and closer to its impending doom. Next month, the Earth will have a close brush with death when an asteroid comes within a couple million miles of colliding with the planet we regrettably call home.
"Asteroid Florence, a large near-Earth asteroid, will pass safely by Earth on Sept. 1, 2017, at a distance of about 4.4 million miles," NASA said in a news release. "Florence is among the largest near-Earth asteroids that are several miles is size." Given the asteroid's close proximity to Earth, scientists will use this opportunity to study Florence through ground-based radar observations.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and NEOWISE mission have measured the size of the asteroid at about 2.7 miles. "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 Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). "Florence is the largest asteroid to pass by our planet this close since the NASA program to detect and track near-Earth asteroids began."
Since Florence will luckily—we guess—spare our lives on Sept. 1, we can just go back to living our day-to-day lives of destroying the planet on our own. Have a happy Saturday, everyone!