Large Asteroid to Fly (Safely) Through Earth's Backyard

January 15, 2015 6:58 PM

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On Jan. 26, astronomers will be keeping their eyes peeled for a large space rock that is due to make a fast dash past the Earth-moon system. But never fear, the half-kilometer-wide asteroid 2004 BL86 will sail past safely, well beyond the orbit of our moon.

The asteroid may not be an immediate danger to life on Earth, but it is notable nonetheless. This will be the closest approach of a significantly-sized asteroid until 1999 AN10 (an asteroid that could be as wide as 1.8 kilometers, or 1.1 miles) makes its flyby in the year 2027.

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