Blue-whale-size asteroid to screech past Earth in close encounter on June 6

An asteroid up to three times larger than a blue whale will zoom past Earth on Monday (June 6) at more than 16,000 mph (26,000 km/h), according to NASA (opens in new tab).

The asteroid, named 2021 GT2, is predicted to safely miss our planet by more than 2.2 million miles (3.5 million kilometers) — or roughly 10 times the average distance between Earth and the moon. Astronomers first detected the space rock last year and estimated its size at between 121 and 272 feet (37 to 83 meters) wide. While that sounds pretty big — between one and three times the length of a blue whale (opens in new tab) — it isn’t large enough to be considered a potential hazard to Earth.

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