NASA’s asteroid tracking system revealed that a space rock that’s big enough to destroy our planet if it were to hit it is expected to approach us this month.
Due to the massive size (bigger than Mount Fuji in Japan), the space rock is expected to be visible from Earth during the flyby.
NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) revealed that the racing space rock has been identified as 52768 (1998 OR2).
According to the latest info coming from the agency’s database, it is currently flying across space towards our planet at a speed of over 19,000 miles per hour.
The space rock has a diameter of 4.1 km
CNEOS noted that the space rock has a diameter of about 4.1 km and this makes it longer than the whole Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Due to the massive size and natural orbit, which is bring it closer to our planet from time to time. This space rock was labeled by NASA as a potentially hazardous asteroid.
“Potentially hazardous asteroids are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth,” NASA explained.
“Specifically, all asteroids with a minimum orbit intersection distance of 0.05 [astronomical units] or less and an absolute magnitude of 22.0 or less are considered [potentially hazardous asteroids].”
Ibtimes notes that according to CNEOS, the space rock is expected to fly past Earth on April 29 at 4:56 am EDT.
“During this time, the asteroid will be about 0.04205 astronomical units or roughly 3.9 million miles from the planet’s atmosphere,” according to the same online publication.
NASA works to redirect asteroids
In other news, not too long ago, it’s been revealed that NASA is trying to figure out various ways to make sure that Earth remains safe, at least in this regard.
According to the latest reports, the space agency has been working really hard to upgrade the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission so it can take off next July.
Just in case you don’t know, DART is powered by NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster—Commercial (NEXT-C).