Asteroid the size of 3 football fields passes by Earth

(WJW) — A large asteroid soared through the night sky on Friday.

According to EarthSky, the asteroid Apophis was set to pass by the Earth around 8:15 p.m. EST.

The asteroid was approximately 10.4 million miles away as it harmlessly passed by Earth. That’s nearly 44 times as far away as the moon.

This is reportedly the closest Apophis has been to Earth in years.

Since Apophis was within range of earthly telescopes and radar, astronomers were tracking its movement.

The Virtual Telescope Project held a live viewing session of Apophis as it passed.

Apophis was discovered in 2004, NASA says, and is 1,120 feet wide — or roughly the size of three football fields. Initial calculations indicated there was a small possibility the asteroid could impact Earth in 2029, and the Apophis earned the nickname “God of Chaos.”

Scientists have since ruled out any possible impact in 2029. Instead, they predict the asteroid will safely pass about 19,800 miles from Earth’s surface. While that is a safe distance, it is possible the Apophis could come between Earth and the moon.

EarthSky says Apophis is not expected to strike Earth during this century.