A large asteroid flies past Earth in the night on Thursday

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Asteroid 2005 YY128 will come closer to Earth on Thursday night than in 400 years. At 1:46 a.m., it will fly past Earth at a distance of 4.5 million kilometres.

There is no danger of an impact. The chunk of space is still considered potentially dangerous because of its size and orbit.

The asteroid’s diameter is estimated by astronomers* between 580 meters and 1.3 kilometres. It was discovered in 2005, as its name indicates.

The flyby will occur exactly ten years after a 20-meter meteorite exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on Feb. 15, 2013. It was the most powerful detonation of a celestial body in more than a century. Nearly 1,500 people were injured. The blast wave covered houses and shattered windows.

Since then, precautions to ward off threats from space have been greatly strengthened, according to Space.com. NASA opened its Planetary Defense Coordination Office a few years later. Ninety-five percent of the asteroids with a diameter of at least one kilometre that could someday appear within 50 million kilometres of Earth have reportedly already been found.

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