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Asteroid set to pass earth tonight in one of closest encounters ever

Near-Earth asteroid, computer graphics.

No need to panic though – experts say it will definitely miss Earth (Photo: Getty Images)

Tonight, a bus-sized asteroid will make one of the closest approaches ever recorded.

The space rock will fly over the southern tip of South America just after midnight (GMT).

Experts noted that it is only 2,200 miles (3,600 kilometers) above the planet’s surface.

It is predicted to be the fourth closest to Earth since recording began.

But don’t worry – scientists have assured people that there is no need to panic, as they will not be able to miss.

People can watch the close encounter as part of the Virtual Telescope Project today from 7:15 pm.

It is believed that an asteroid with a width of 3.7 to 8.2 meters cannot cause too much damage even if it falls.

It will most likely turn into a fireball and disintegrate largely harmlessly in the atmosphere.

Some of the larger debris could potentially fall as small meteorites.

The asteroid was discovered by G. Borisov on January 21 and was named asteroid 2023 BU.

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