UPDATE – Just in time to create really BIG fireworks for the 4th of July, an asteroid that may be a half-mile in diameter wide is coming our way. Astronomers assure us there is no danger of impact, but it will make an unusually close pass on that day. We’ve had other near misses lately.

Joe Rao writes in space.com that when this asteroid was first discovered, there were fears that it might hit the earth sometime in this century, so scientists have been monitoring it carefully in case they felt they had to try out some of their new techniques to destroy it or deflect it.

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UPDATE: In an update for space.com, Joe Rao tells us that the asteroid which will be flying by the earth on July 3, will be one of the closest approaches ever documented?without making an impact.

On October 30, 1937, the Hermes asteroid was an extremely close flyby, but in 2006, there have already been two asteroids that came closer. And the next one? That will arrive on November 8, 2011, when 2005 YU55 approaches at a distance of 98,000 miles, which is less than half the distance away from earth of the July 3rd asteroid.

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