It's not Armageddon, but it could have been. A sizeable asteroid named 2021 EQ3 will pass closer to Earth than the Moon itself on Monday night.
And lucky you, it will be all streamed live online!
The flyby will be completely safe and doesn't pose any risk to anything or anyone on Earth or to any of the satellites, reported the Cnet website. The asteroid will pass closest above us at about 9:45 p.m. Israel time on Monday night, at a distance of around 278,000 kilometers - 72% of the distance from the Earth to the Moon.
Although 2021 EQ3 is actually not the only asteroid to have come so close to Earth, it is one of the biggest.
On average, sky surveys and other telescopes spot a space rock passing closer than the moon every few days, even if most of these asteroids are just a few meters across, likely making them no larger than a bus.
Asteroid 2021 EQ3, however, could have a diameter of up to 38 meters, making it more like the size of a small apartment building, according to the report.
It's also different than 2001 FO32, which is an absolute monster with a diameter of about a mile. That asteroid is set to pass by on March 21 but at a distance five times farther away than the moon.
You may have seen headlines about an #asteroid that will safely fly by Earth on March 21. While this asteroid, known as 2001 FO32, is large, it will safely zip past Earth at a distance of 1.3 million miles – five times further away than the Moon – and poses no risk of hitting Earth. pic.twitter.com/oZZG5UaFsf— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) March 8, 2021
The asteroid's size also makes it a good object to track, and the Virtual Telescope Project based in Rome will be streaming an online watch party via its website.
Last year, NASA found that an asteroid was set to come close to Earth on November 2, the day before the US presidential elections, CNN reported then.
Known as 2018VP1, the asteroid was first identified back in 2018, and is estimated to have a diameter of two meters (6.5 feet). While it only has a 0.41% chance of hitting Earth, NASA still found potential impacts of a collision. But due to its small size, it's unlikely to have an impact of apocalyptic proportions, CNN reported.