Science Photo Library - ANDRZEJ WOJCICKI

Massive Asteroid ‘Florence' Flies Past Earth at Record-Breaking Nearness

Nothing as big as the roughly 2.7-mile-wide asteroid 3122 Florence has ever been observed passing this close to Earth.

September 1, 2017
3:11 PM EDT
The big asteroid 3122 Florence, as seen by the Virtual Telescope Project on Aug. 30, 2017 — two days before its closest approach to Earth. | Gianluca Masi/Virtual Telescope Project
Asteroid Florence path near Earth, coming to within about 18 times the distance from the Earth to the moon. | NASA
This sky map by Sky & Telescope magazine shows the location of the asteroid 3122 Florence as it moves across the night sky in late August and early September 2017. | Sky & Telescope Magazine diagram