Asteroid Florence is coming, and this is what you need to know
According to NASA, asteroid Florence is coming. Today. Can it hit the Earth? Is it at all dangerous? We tell you all you need to know about asteroid Florence right here.
The asteroid’s complete name is 3122 FLorence. It was discovered in Australia in 1981 and named after Florence Nightingale, the british founder of modern nursing. It’s about 2.7 miles (4.4 kilometers) in size, which makes it the largest near-Earth asteroid the NASA has ever spotted.
Many other asteroids have passed near the Earth before, but they were all much smaller than Florence. Tonight, FLorence will be passing really close to our planet. But do not panic. When we’re talking about the space, “close” doesn’t really mean “very near”.
In fact, asteroid Florence will be at a distance of about 4.4 million miles, (7.0 million kilometers). This is about 18 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon. This distance means there is no chance of asteroid Florence hitting our planet.
Nevertheless, this is Florence’s closest encounter with our planet since 1890. And there won’t be a similar chance until 2057. That’s why many people are wondering if they will be able to see asteroid Florence today.
According to experts, the answer is affirmative. But, of course, Florence will only be visible to telescopes. She will reach her brightest point tonight, as she travels across the sky. And what direction must we stare at? Asteroid FLorence will pass the constellations of Piscis Austrinus, Capricornus, Aquarius and Delphinus.
In case you don’t have a telescope (or a clue of how to find those constellations) you can also watch it live in The Virtual Telescope Project website.
This is a perfect opportunity for scientists and astronomers to study a big asteroid, so NASA will be monitoring Florence closely and taking mane pictures of her.
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