A 1.7-mile-wide asteroid will pass by Earth no closer than 3.6 million miles on May 31. The huge chunk of space rock -- dubbed Asteroid 1998 QE2 -- is not a threat, but observers with a 230-foot or larger radar telescopes will be able to watch it. "With radar we can transform an object from a point of light into a small world with its own unique set of characteristics," said NASA radar astronomer Lance Benner.

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