Giant asteroid makes its closest pass of Earth on Australia Day

A giant asteroid will be passing Earth at a distance of just 1.2 million kilometres this Australia Day, and all you need is a telescope or a decent pair of binoculars.

This story was written by Bryonie Scott and originally published at The Conversation.

Clear skies this Australia Day could give observers a rare look at a giant asteroid flying past Earth at 56,000km/h. The asteroid, known as 2004 BL86, will not return to Earth for around another 200 years.

It was first discovered in 2004 by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program, a joint venture between NASA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which searches for near-Earth objects.

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