Florence is an asteroid that measures almost three miles in diameter. According to experts it will not pose a threat the Earth for centuries to come but is expected to pass us right now!
NASA says that this asteroid will be passing Earth at a distance of 4.4 million miles. This would be the largest asteroid in more than a century to pass us and makes for quite an interesting experience. All other asteroids to pass this close or closer to Earth have been significantly smaller. Asteroids, for those who do not know, are the rubble that is left over from the formation of planets and so forth.
This instance will be the closest this asteroid has been since 1890 and the closest that it will ever be until after 2500 according to the US Space Agency. Scientists are using this as a time to actually study the asteroid up close by using a ground-blasting radar imaging system in California, as well as Puerto Rico. Many professional, as well as amateur astronomers, are tracking this event. If something this size were to actually hit the Earth scientists believe the effects would be global.
“Florence is the largest asteroid to pass by our planet this close since the [American space agency] Nasa program to detect and track near-Earth asteroids began.”
This asteroid was discovered by Schelte ‘Bobby’ Bus at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia back in 1981 and was named in honor of Florence Nightingale. This asteroid will be visible in small telescopes for several nights as it moves through several constellations. It is said that Florence will brighten to ninth magnitude around early September yes it is currently underway.
For more information on this check out the video below. It seems this will go over smoothly without issues and who knows what we will learn about Florence in general through these radar collections. I, for one, am excited to see what comes of this.