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January 14, 2015
An asteroid, designated 2004 BL86, will safely pass about three times the distance of Earth to the moon on January 26. From its reflected brightness, astronomers estimate that the asteroid is about a third of a mile (0.5 kilometers) in size.
Graphic depicts the trajectory of asteroid 2004 BL86
The flyby of 2004 BL86 will be the closest by any known space rock this large until asteroid 1999 AN10 flies past Earth in 2027. At the time of its closest approach on January 26, the asteroid will be approximately 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from Earth.
Asteroid Watch: For more information about asteroids and near-Earth objects, visit: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroidwatch and http://www.nasa.gov/asteroid . Updates about near-Earth objects are also available by following AsteroidWatch on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/asteroidwatch .
Near-Earth Object Program Office: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/
Graphic, Text, Credit: NASA.