Asteroid of 5 km in diameter to pass near from Earth today

The Robert C Byrd radio telescope and its companions collect radio waves and use them to study galaxies pulsars planets asteroids and forming stars

Just Passing Through Three Mile Wide Asteroid Makes Earth Visit

But there's no need to cower under your beds because at its closest on Saturday, at 22:00 GMT, the asteroid will be around 6.4million miles away from our planet.

Asteroid 3200 Phaethon - named for the son of the Greek Sun god Helios, who lost control of his dad's chariot and nearly incinerated the Earth - will pass close enough to our home planet that the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center has classified it as 'potentially hazardous'.

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"Phaethon will approach within 0.069 au of Earth on 2017 December 16 when it will be a strong radar imaging target at Goldstone and Arecibo". After all, 6.2 million miles isn't a lot in space terms. It is the third largest near-Earth asteroid, but it won't approach the planet close enough to elicit real damage. A livestream of the asteroid's passage is happening on YouTube too, with an embed below. The asteroid will be visible for weeks, according to ABC News, but the best time to watch it is 6 PM ET on December 16.

"This "potential" to make close Earth approaches does not mean a PHA will impact the Earth". It can also be watched on virtualtelescope.eu. Tomorrow it will come within 6.4 million miles of Earth as it zips by in outer space, which is the closest it has flown by since 1974, NASA said. If humanity is wiped out at some point in the future, an asteroid strike certainly would be high on the list of probable causes. The asteroid is the third-biggest asteroid close to Earth, according to astronomers, and it orbits the sun every 523 days.

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The 2017 edition of the spectacular Geminid meteor shower is past its peak, but you can still spot the ginormous space rock thought to be the source of all those shooting stars. There's a distinction. Asteroids are made up of metals and rocky material, while comets are made up of ice, dust and rocky materials, according to NASA.

Are you going to try and watch 3200 Phaethon, HollywoodLifers?

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The Greminid shower has been attributed to 3200 Phaethon, which has some at NASA wondering if Phaethon is an asteroid, a dead comet, or something in between.

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