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Asteroid across the mile will swing close to Earth this weekend




(CNN) – A huge double asteroid cuts towards the Earth, but scientists say it will pass by with plenty of space to spare.

The asteroid, known as 1999 KW4, will make its approach closest to our planet on Saturday, but it is important to note that that distance means something different to people who are on the space, which are working on a galaxy scale.

The European Space Agency says there will be 3,219,961 miles (5,182,024 km) away – over 13 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

It's called a bianary system because there are two asteroid that are gravitably bound together. The largest is under a mile in diameter and its asteroid “moon” friend is about a third of that size.

It was first discovered in 1999 by scientists with the LINEAR project in New Mexico.

The ESA tweeted a 1999 KW4 animation shot on May 9 by a 0.6 meter telescope on the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean.

He describes the asteroid as "the gray blob in the middle of this animation."

Scientists will use dozens of telescopes around the world to collect as much data as they can as the asteroid passes.

It will not be visible to the naked eye, but EarthSky.org says amateur astronomers can see it if they use a telescope that is 8 "in diameter or more. It will look like star is moving slowly.

The system will come even closer to the Earth (but still far away) the next time it changes, but that won't happen until May 2036.

The CNN-Wire ™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


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