The bad news: a massive asteroid is to pass relatively close to the Earth this week.
The good news: it won't hit us - and you might actually be able to see it, if you happen to have access to a decent telescope.
Near Earth Asteroid 285263, also known as 1998 QE2, is very large - estimated to be somewhere between 2.5 and 2.9 km in diameter.
No, it's not named after the Queen Elizabeth 2 ship, though in a press release Nasa does note that it's about 12 times the size of that 12-decked, transatlantic-crossing vessel.
A hypotethical impact from an asteroid this big would be catastrophic, almost certainly causing a near-extinction level event for many species and - depending on our level of preparedness - us as well.
Luckily while it will come within 4 million miles of Earth on Friday, at about 9pm UK time - that's still a reassuring 15 times farther than the Moon. And it won't come closer for another 200 years - which means that's one less of up to 10,000 troubling asteroids to worry about.
While the asteroid has no chance of hitting us, it will still shine brightly in the night sky. It won't top +10th magnitude, which is the rough threshold for seeing an object through binoculars. But if you're able to take a photograph of the sky in the right place, and compare it to one taken 10 minutes later, you should be able to spot it.
Universe Today has a good guide for where to look, focusing on the constellation Libra, where the asteroid should be located by Friday.
Meanwhile if you have a spare 230-foot radar telescope in your back garden - or have enough patience for scientists to do the work for you - the asteroid's passing will be even more dramatic in a couple of weeks, when we get the first official pictures.
Nasa said that the asteroid will be an "outstanding radar imaging target" and added it might be able to discern features on its surface as small as 12 foot across. That presents a great opportunity to study rocks of this size before a potential mission to land on an asteroid in 2016.
Nasa has recently announced even more ambitious plans to capture and redirect an asteroid in space, so that it can be explored by humans.
Police dash cam of Meteor over Edmonton, Canada
Meteor falling from the sky in Edmonton, Canada. Filmed about 5:30pm Thursday November 20th 2008.
Police dash cam of Meteor over Edmonton, Canada
Police dash cam of Meteor over Edmonton, Canada. Filmed about 5:30pm Thursday November 20th 2008
Meteor Over Alberta, Canada The Great Daylight 1972 Fireball
The Great Daylight 1972 Fireball en.wikipedia.org This is footage from early 70's of a meteor passing over Alberta Canada.... Just to clarify, the host is talking about a "meteorite" actually its a meteor because it didn't hit the earth's surface. Meteor = fragments that pass through the Earth's atmosphere, heated to incandescence by friction. Meteorite = Meteor that strikes the earth ...from Understanding the Earth Series www.youtube.com
Meteor over Netherlands, pictures from Groningen, October 13, 2009. Photographer Robert Mikaelyan
Meteoor over Nederland, foto's uit groningen, 13 oktober 2009. Fotograaf Robert Mikaelyan Meteor over Netherlands, pictures from Groningen, October 13, 2009. Photographer Robert Mikaelyan
Meteor lights up night sky above Utah - Nov 2009
A large ball of fire streaking across the night time skies just after midnight had many Utahn's wondering what they saw early Wednesday morning. Dozens of calls came with people wondering if they saw a shooting star, others wondered if it was the end of the world, military testing, or even a UFO. People from Mona to Spanish Fork from Ogden to Bountiful all calling in a very similar sighting More... To many, it looked like a large fall of fire, lightning up the sky, some say like daylight, others reported a blue like light that lasted for about 30 seconds. And many reported hearing a boom about 5 minutes later. Utah's NASA and Solar System Ambassador Patrick Wiggins said that it was a meteor also known as a bolide. From his observatory near Stansbury Park he says the break up of the meteor occured at about 240 to 250 degrees azimuth which puts it just north of southwest. He also heard the sound of an explosion that would put the breakup of the bolide about 100 km in that direction placing it high above Granite Peak in the west desert.
Perseid Meteor Shower - Friday the 13th
Watching the yearly Perseid Meteor Shower from the 3rd floor of my hotel in Charlotte, NC. Behold amazing video footage of shooting stars and an occasional lulz! NEVER MISS A NEW VIDEO: Twitter: www.twitter.com Facebook: tiny.cc Dailybooth: dailybooth.com XBOX Live Gamertag: "ReallyRick"
April 2010 Meteor Fireball over Northern Iowa
Howard County, Iowa Deputy Tim Beckman captures this video of a fireball streaking over the Iowa sky on Wednesday, April 15th, 2010