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'City killer' asteroid to sweep past Earth on Saturday, March 25 and you may be able to see it with binoculars





An asteroid – big enough to wipe out an entire city – is to hurtle between Earth and the Moon close enough to give skygazers the chance to see it through binoculars.

The enormous piece of space rock – called 2023 DZ2 – was discovered only a month ago by those working at an observatory on the Canary Islands.

The asteroid is set to whizz past Earth on Saturday. Image: Stock photo.
The asteroid is set to whizz past Earth on Saturday. Image: Stock photo.

Estimated to measure up to 300ft it will whiz past at about 17,500mph say experts.

But crucially – those keeping a close eye on the 'city killer' believe it will pass by at around 100,000 miles – less than half the distance between Earth and the Moon – which could give astronomers the chance to study it more closely.

In a statement, European Space Agency's planetary defence chief Richard Moissl said: "There is no chance of this 'city killer' striking Earth, but its close approach offers a great opportunity for observations."

The Virtual Telescope Project is planning to provide a live webcast of the event today (Saturday).

Details on its website explained: "The significant size of this object will make it easy to observe with good binoculars and small telescopes a few hours before the fly-by."

The asteroid will be at its closest point to Earth at around 7.15pm GMT.

Scientists believe the asteroid may be visible on Saturday
Scientists believe the asteroid may be visible on Saturday

2023 DZ2 is then expected to return in 2026 and although there initially appeared to be a chance it could strike Earth this has since been discounted.

In January an asteroid – estimated to be the size of a London bus – had an extremely close encounter with Earth.

The space rock named Asteroid 2023 BU skimmed just 2,100 miles above the planet's surface at its nearest point said NASA at the time.



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