Labor Day weekend is set to get off to a stellar start when a 2.7-mile-wide asteroid has a “relatively close encounter” with Earth on Friday, Sept. 1, according to NASA officials, The Daily Mail reported Friday.
The asteroid, named Florence, will be the largest to pass this close to Earth since NASA began keeping track of near-Earth objects (NEO). Its trajectory will place it 4.4 million miles from the planet, roughly 18 times the distance between Earth and the moon.
“While many known asteroids have passed by closer to Earth than Florence will on Sept. 1, all of those were estimated to be smaller,” said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
“Florence is the largest asteroid to pass by our planet this close since the NASA program to detect and track near-Earth asteroids began,” he added.
The asteroid will be visible