Wherever you are on May 31st, take some timeout to be thankful that the our planet will not be pummeled by a giant asteroid. According to NASA, a 1.7-mile-wide asteroid is scheduled to shoot right past our little blue rock, coming within 3.6 million miles of Earth.

This close encounter will give scientists a great opportunity to study the surface of the asteroid, named 1998 QE2, as it won't come back around for another 200 years. Whenever an asteroid approaches this closely, it provides an important scientific opportunity to study it in detail to understand its size, shape, rotation, surface features, and what they can tell us about its origin," said NASA astronomer Lance Benner. 

[via The Verge]

Related: A Recent History of Asteroids Nearly Destroying Earth