Keep your eyes peeled: a small asteroid called 2014 RC is set to skim past Earth, over New Zealand, on September 8. It should safely miss the planet — if calculations are correct.
NASA scientists reckon that the lump of rock should pass over New Zealand at about 4.18am on Monday, September 8. Current observations suggest that the asteroid is about 18m across, and that it should pass by 40,000km away — approximately one-tenth the distance from the centre of Earth to the moon. Sadly, at that size and distance, the rock shouldn’t be observable by the unaided eye, although you should be able to see it with a modest telescope.
NASA explains that “while 2014 RC will not impact Earth, its orbit will bring it back to our planet’s neighbourhood in the future. The asteroid’s future motion will be closely monitored, but no future threatening Earth encounters have been identified.” That’s a… relief? [NASA]