Blue-Whale-Size Asteroid to   Encounter 

Screech Past Earth in Close

An asteroid up to three

 times larger than a blue whale will zoom past Earth on Monday (June 6) at more than 16,000 mph

The asteroid, named 

2021 GT2, is predicted to safely miss our planet by more than 2.2 million miles (3.5 million kilometers)

2021 GT2 is an Aten-class

 asteroid, meaning it orbits the sun more closely than Earth does , and its orbital path crosses Earth's orbit. 

Astronomers know of

 more than 1,800 such asteroids — many of which are considered potentially hazardous

Its next close approach 

to Earth will occur on Jan. 26, 2034, when the asteroid passes within 9 million miles of our planet

Scientists want to be

 ready if a near-Earth asteroid's trajectory should suddenly change following an unexpected incident

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