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A close asteroid pass is coming Friday, but there's no risk to Earth

A rock roughly the size of a skyscraper is expected to pass by Earth on Friday, but it will still be many times more distant than the moon.
A close asteroid pass is coming Friday, but there's no risk to Earth
Posted at 4:14 PM, Feb 01, 2024

An asteroid roughly the size of a skyscraper will pass close by Earth on Friday, but there's no risk of it hitting the planet.

NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies estimates that the asteroid could be as much as 1,575 feet wide, which would make it close to the size of the Empire State Building in New York City.

But even at its closest, it's expected to pass by Earth at a distance more than seven times that of the distance between Earth and the moon.

Asteroid 2008 OS7 was first discovered in 2008. Its orbit will bring it close to Earth again in 2032, but it will be even more distant then than it is now: The closest it will get then is roughly 45 million miles from Earth, which is close to half the distance between Earth and the sun.

SEE MORE: Moon landing by US company appears doomed after 'critical' fuel leak

Other asteroids will pass by Earth at the end of this week as well: Three rocks no larger than a few yards wide each will pass on Friday, and two more will pass by on Saturday. On Sunday, another asteroid about half the size of 2008 OS7 will pass within 4.5 million miles of Earth.

The closest recorded asteroid flyby happened in August of 2020, when a space rock roughly the size of an SUV sped by just 1,830 miles over the Indian Ocean.

NASA says if that asteroid had entered the atmosphere, it would have likely burned up before reaching the surface.


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