Asteroid the size of 3 football fields to pass by Earth tonight

U.S. & World

(WJW) — A large asteroid will soar through the night sky on Friday.

According to EarthSky, the asteroid Apophis will pass by the Earth around 8:15 p.m. EST.

The asteroid will be approximately 10.4 million miles away as it harmlessly passes by Earth. Apophis will be nearly 44 times as far away as the moon.

This is reportedly the closest Apophis has been to Earth in years.

Since Apophis is reportedly within range of earthly telescopes and radar, astronomers will be tracking its movement.

The Virtual Telescope Project is holding a live viewing session of Apophis as it passes. You can watch it on their website.

Apophis was discovered in 2004, NASA reports, and is 1,120 feet wide – or roughly the size of three football fields. Initial calculations indicated there was a small possibility the asteroid could impact Earth in 2029, and the Apophis earned the nickname “God of Chaos.”

Scientists have since ruled out any possible impact in 2029. Instead, they predict the asteroid will safely pass about 19,800 miles from Earth’s surface. While that is a safe distance, it is possible the Apophis could come between Earth and the moon.

EarthSky says Apophis is not expected to strike Earth during this century.

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