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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 29 March, 2020

An asteroid the size of a mountain is passing us by right now

Don’t worry, it won’t crash into us.

2004bl86_s Source: NASA

AN ASTEROID THE size of a mountain is due to shave by Earth around now, in a rare type of flyby that will not be seen for another decade.

It was due to pass us by at around 4pm.

The asteroid, known as 2004 BL86, runs no risk of a colliding with Earth and will be about three times farther than the Moon when it passes.

At the time of its closest approach today, the asteroid will be about 1.2 million kilometres from Earth.

Special event

As asteroid events go, this one is special because the space rock is so much larger than most, measuring about a third of a mile across (0.5 kilometres).

The majority of near-Earth objects are 15 to 30 metres in diameter.

“It’s the largest known space rock predicted to come this close to us until 2027,” said Sky and Telescope magazine

- © AFP, 2015

Read: Hundreds of us saw that ‘giant fireball’ this week — but where did it land?>

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