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2 large asteroids will be visible this week

(WKBN) – Two large asteroids will safely pass by Earth this week, and at least one of them will be visible with a small telescope.

The first and largest is Asteroid 2011 UL21, one of the largest asteroids that will pass by Earth this year.

Graphical representation of Asteroid 2011 UL21. Image courtesy of NASA.
Graphical representation of Asteroid 2011 UL21. (Image courtesy of NASA)

This asteroid has a diameter of nearly 1.5 miles, making it larger than 99% of all near-Earth objects. Thankfully, it will pass Earth by at a safe distance of over 4 million miles away.

Like planets, asteroids orbit the sun, but they are much smaller. These “rocky remnants left over from the formation of our solar system” are sometimes called minor planets, according to NASA.

Asteroid 2011 UL21 will be visible Thursday through Sunday, though it will be brightest on Friday.

It will pass through the Virgo star constellation. Watch this video to learn how to find the constellation.

The second asteroid, 2024 MK, only has a diameter between 400-800 feet, making it much smaller. Additionally, this asteroid will be positioned over the southern half of Earth, making it more visible to those in the Southern Hemisphere compared with up north.

Will the skies be clear?

While it is nice to know where the asteroids will be, it will not mean much if there is cloud cover. Check your local forecast to find out when it’s best to watch.

Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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