A very large astroid named Florence 3122 is buzzing Earth today. It will pass about 4.4 million miles from Earth which is about 18x the distance from the Earth to the moon. While this sounds like a long ways away, on a galactic scale it’s quite close.
Florence was first detected in 1981 and was originally designated as 1981ET3 and was renamed Florence 3122 in honor of Florence Nightengale.
Florence is 2.7 miles across and is the largest asteroid to pass this close to the Earth since near-Earth asteroids were discovered a century ago. Astronomers are excited to be able to get images of Florence this close – resolution of pictures will be as if taken from about 30 feet away. Florence will be visible for amateur astronomers as well.