Look to the east tonight, and you just might see an asteroid fly by.
It will require a telescope or good binoculars, but Asteroid 2004 BL86 will be visible in the night sky from about 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
“It will be about three moon-to-Earth distances or 745,000 miles away,” said Bruce Twarog, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. “It is pretty far away, so there is no real danger. It is just these kind of passages are uncommon enough to make it interesting.”
In order to see tonight’s asteroid, leave the city limits and drive into the country.
People with telescopes with a mirror and at least a lens 4 inches or larger in diameter can easily see the asteroid, Twarog said.
He also suggests going to an online site, such as www.skypub.com, that gives maps of where to look in the night sky.
The asteroid was discovered on Jan. 30, 2004, through the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research survey in White Sands, N.M., according to a news release issued Monday by the University of Kansas. The next closest space rock this size will be in 2027 when asteroid 1999 AN10 passes by.