It's nearly the size of a football field, and it's headed for earth. Well almost. The asteroid is named 2006QV89 and is set to pass by earth later this year.

The chance for this asteroid to hit the earth is very small. 1 in 7,299... so no need to worry. It's currently 4-million miles away from earth, but could come as close as 1.6 million miles. That’s pretty far, but close enough that it falls under NASA’s Near Earth Object classification. It’s also one of over 850 objects that the European Space Agency is monitoring as well.

2006QV89 was first observed back in 2006, but it turns out it’s been close by a few times in the past. As the asteroid rotates around the sun, like the earth, it passes by close to the orbit of earth. It made passes by earth in each decade since the 1950s, with the exception of the 90s. Most recently it passed by earth in 2003 and 2006.

But it turns out asteroids passing by earth are not all that rare, nor are meteors entering the earth’s atmosphere. But we don’t see them that often. As we all know, the earth is covered 71 percent by water, meaning humans only cover a small portion of the earth. On top of that we of course see around 12 hours of daylight, making it even more difficult to see a meteor.

With this asteroid set to pass by earth in late September, it begs the question of will I be able to see it? The short answer is no. To see this small asteroid, you would need a pretty powerful telescope. But maybe we’ll have better luck in the year 2032 when it’s set to pass by earth again.

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