An asteroid that’s three times the length of a football field is expected to whiz by Earth today. The asteroid, known as 2008 KV2, is expected to zip by at a distance of about 4.2 million miles. To put that distance from Earth into perspective, the moon is about 238,900 miles away from us, and the asteroid will be more than 17 times that distance. Scientists discovered the asteroid in 2008 and promptly set about calculating how often it came within Earth’s vicinity; the researchers produced estimates of its travels between 1900 and 2199. It turns out, 2008 KV2 is a fairly frequent visitor. Like Earth, it orbits the sun, but it doesn’t always come that close to us. Even so, after today’s trip, 2008 KV2 is expected to pass by Earth again in 2021 and twice in 2022.
Photo Credit: JPL – NASA