Big Asteroid Buzzes by Earth Tomorrow No risk of collision, but astronomers should be happy By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted May 30, 2013 7:21 PM CDT 40 comments Comments This December 1968 photo provided by NASA shows Earth as seen during the Apollo 8 mission. (AP Photo/NASA, File) (Newser) – Backyard astronomers, ready your telescopes. A big asteroid is about to zip by Earth, with its closest approach coming at 4:59pm Eastern tomorrow, says NASA. The rock will be 3.6 million miles away at that point, meaning there's no chance for a collision, but that should allow people that have telescopes with 4- to 6-inch mirror sizes to catch a faint glimpse in the southern sky for a few nights, reports National Geographic. The asteroid, named 1998 QE2, is 1.7 miles across and even has a smaller "bonus rock" orbiting around it—its own mini moon, reports AP.