Don't panic!

On 1 September, a 4.4. kilometre (2.7 mile) asteroid will pass by Earth, the biggest object to pass this close since NASA's Near Earth Observations program began in 1998. But don't panic, the asteroid is not expected to come any closer than 7 million kilometres (4.4 million miles), roughly 18 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon. Named Florence by Schelte "Bobby" Bus at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia after the 19th century nurse Florence Nightingale, she was first detected in 1981 and hasn't been this close since 1880, and won't pass as close again until 2500. The close(ish) encounter will offer scientists the perfect opportunity to learn more about about Florence's shape, size, and composition, and could reveal more information about her orbital path, or provide important information on its structure that may help us fine-tune future strategies in avoiding catastrophic strikes — there are currently over 1,800 hazardous near-Earth objects being tracked by NASA. To find out more check out Large Asteroid to Safely Pass Earth on Sept. 1.