You definitely shouldn’t panic but there is a biggish asteroid about to pass by Earth in the coming hours.
About the size of a bus, the space rock, known as 2023 BU, will whip over the southern tip of South America just after midnight GMT.
With a closest expected approach of 3,600km (2,200 miles), it counts as a close shave.
And it illustrates how there are still asteroids of significant size lurking near Earth that remain to be detected.
This one was only picked up last weekend by amateur astronomer Gennadiy Borisov, who operates from Nauchnyi in Crimea, the peninsula that Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014.
Follow up observations have refined what we know about 2023 BU’s size and, crucially, its orbit.
That’s how astronomers can be so confident it will miss the planet, even though it will come inside the arc occupied by the world’s telecommunications satellites, which sit 36,000km (22,000 miles) above us.
The time of lowest altitude is calculated to be 19.27 EST on Thursday; 00:27 GMT on Friday.
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