asteroid near earth
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A massive space rock is swinging by to say hello this Patrick's Day.

The "near Earth asteroid" - which was discovered by NASA earlier this year - will brush past on Friday.

NASA monitors "near Earth asteroids" or NEOs to predict possible collisions.

This particular space rock is dubbed 2017 EG3.

Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are space rocks larger than approximately 100m that can come closer to Earth than 0.05 AU.

None of the known PHAs is on a collision course with our planet, although astronomers are finding new ones all the time.

Fortunately for us, today's visitor is just 23m across and expected to come within four lunar distances, before continuing its journey around the Sun.

Asteroid collisions have been blamed for extinction level events in the past, and some governments - including the US - have got plans for a potential impact.
But it turns out that they could actually save lives.

Scientists discovered that the metals in asteroid clay are great at protecting from deadly solar rays.

They could be a good alternative to aluminum used in rockets, and could protect astronauts from cancer causing radiation.