An important astronomical phenomenon will take place at the beginning of September this year, according to space.com. A huge #asteroid named Florence will pass near the #Earth at a distance of about seven million kilometers. The asteroid Florence has a width of over four kilometers and it's the largest asteroid watched by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The size of the asteroid and its proximity to our planet will allow researchers to study the cosmic object closely.

The largest asteroid approaching Earth

According to a report published on Wednesday by space.com, the asteroid Florence is the largest such cosmic object approaching the Earth since the beginning of NASA's observations of asteroids near our planet with potentially dangerous orbits.

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It will pass very close to Earth on September 1 this year.

This asteroid has a diameter of 4.4 kilometers. It will pass 7 million kilometers away from Earth. This means 18 times the distance from Earth to Moon which is a safe distance. But in astronomical terms, this means the asteroid is close enough to trigger an alarm signal about such cosmic objects which could be dangerous for human civilization.

Paul Chodas, the manager of NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies - CNEOS said there were many asteroids that have passed closer to Earth than Florence will do on September 1 this year, but all of them were much smaller.

Radar images of the asteroid Florence

While the asteroid Florence will pass near the Earth, the astronomers will use this opportunity to obtain radar images of the cosmic object and find out more about its exact dimensions and surface characteristics.

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The asteroid received this name after Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) — the founder of the modern nursing service.

This cosmic object was discovered by the astronomer Schelte "Bobby" Bus in 1981 at the Siding Spring Observatory from Australia. On September 1 this year, this asteroid will pass at the smallest distance from the Earth since 1890. The next time the asteroid will pass again at a similar distance to our planet will happen in the 2500's.

The asteroid will be visible very soon

The amateur astronomers will have the opportunity to track this asteroid with small telescopes since the end of August this year when Florence will begin to shine in the sky at night towards the Piscis Austrinus constellation.

The next major event after the eclipse

Florence will pass near the Earth 11 days after the #Total Solar Eclipse from this year. On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse was visible from both coasts of the United States. It was the first total solar eclipse that could be seen in America after 99 years.