Nicknamed “The Beast,” asteroid HQ124 may be the Earth’s closest shave yet. And once again, like with all of these other close passes of late, HQ124 was not discovered until way late in the game. It was first identified on April 23 of this year, leaving a scant month and a half. This one is unique because NASA has actually declared this a “potentially hazardous” object. As you are probably aware, other near passes of asteroids over the last few years did not receive this classification.
The 325 meter wide asteroid is roughly the size of an aircraft carrier, and NASA says that it will pass within just three lunar distances away. Granted that is still a pretty long way by most of our reckonings here on Earth, but in astronomical terms that is a whisker.