Diagram depicting the passage of asteroid 2012 DA14 through the Earth-moon system on Feb. 15, 2013.
NASA/JPL-Caltech
By TIME Photo and Joan E. Greve
June 5, 2014

A 1,000 foot-wide asteroid nicknamed “the Beast,” will travel peacefully past earth Thursday, sailing just three lunar distances from our planet’s surface. The celestial observation network Slooh will live webcast the Beast’s journey beginning at 2:30 p.m. EDT.

These rocky celestial objects are fairly common, but the Beast (formally known as HQ124) is notable for its proximity and its immense size.

“HQ124 is at least 10 times bigger, and possibly 20 times, than the asteroid that injured a thousand people last year in Chelyabinsk, Siberia,” Bob Berman, an astronomer with Slooh, told National Geographic.

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