Asteroid 3122 Florence safely passed by our planet on September 1, 2017 at over 18 times the Earth-moon distance. Named for nurse Florence Nightingale, it was the biggest near-Earth object to pass so closely since this category of objects was discovered over a century ago. The asteroid is at least 2.7 miles (4.35 km) in diameter. It was expected to reach its peak brightness on August 31; a day later, it was closest to Earth. Several EarthSky friends captured images or video. Thank you all!
The video at the top of this post is a time-lapse – 2 hours of viewing condensed to 30 seconds – from the night of September 3. It’s by Steven Bellavia.
Brian D. Ottum caught the video below of 3122 Florence on the night of August 31:
Bottom line: Photos and video of asteroid 3122 Florence, a large near-Earth object, which passed Earth on September 1, 2017 and is still visible in our skies.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.