An asteroid named Florence, one of the largest of the near-Earth asteroids, will approach close to Earth at the end of August, and will fly safely past our planet on September 1. At its closest point, Florence will be 4.4 million miles (7.0 million kilometers) from Earth, or about 18 times the average Earth-Moon distance. Although many known asteroids have passed by closer than this, all of them were smaller asteroids. Florence is the largest asteroid to pass this close to our planet since the first near-Earth asteroid was discovered over a century ago.
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