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Large Asteroids To Zip By Earth Today

| by Sarah Zimmerman
Planet Earth as seen from spacePlanet Earth as seen from space

Earth will be met with some very close calls, as two asteroids are set to whiz by on Sept. 7.

One asteroid, labeled 2004 BO41, could cause catastrophic devastation if it made contact with the planet, possibly destroying all life as we know it. It is set to miss us by a mere 7.3 million miles, according to The Sun. In space terms, that's an extremely short distance. 

The Daily Mail reports that the giant asteroid could be up to a mile long. An asteroid only needs to be 0.6 miles long to destroy the entire planet. 

But, that's not the only asteroid we have to worry about. Another, smaller asteroid, measuring in at 32 feet is also set to pass by Earth. This rock, known as 2016 RB1, "will make an exceptionally close encounter with our home planet," according to the Virtual Telescope Project.

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The smaller asteroid will miss us only by 24,800 miles, according to the Mail. For reference, the moon is 239,000 miles from the Earth. 

If 2016 RB1 was to hit Earth, it wouldn't have the same apocalyptic consequences as 2004 BO41. However, that doesn't mean it's harmless. If it were to crash into a city, it would have the same effect as multiple nuclear bombs, according to The Sun.

Luckily, scientists aren't too worried about either asteroid colliding with the planet. 

"NASA knows of no asteroid or comet currently on a collision course with Earth, so the probability of a major collision is quite small," said a NASA spokesman, reports The Sun. "In fact, as best as we can tell, no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years."

On Sept. 17, yet another asteroid will scream past the Earth at 31,000 mph, just barely missing us. Even though no asteroids seem to pose a threat in the near future, that doesn't mean scientists aren't keeping a very close eye on the sky.

“NASA has also made asteroid detection a top priority, and are developing strategies for identifying asteroids that could pose a risk to our planet,” said the spokesman, reports The Sun. 

Sources: Daily Mail, The Sun / Photo credit: Kevin Gill/Flickr

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