A giant 1,600-foot wide asteroid, which is larger than the Empire State Building in New York City, will come dangerously close to Earth in 72 hours, NASA scientists have predicted.
The space rock — designated as 388945 (2008 TZ3) — is expected to make its closest approach on Sunday, May 15.
According to NASA’s Near Earth Object (NEO), the space rock’s size is estimated to be about 1,150 to 2,560 feet (350 to 780 meters) in diameter. It is currently traveling through space at about 23,300 miles per hour (37,400 kilometers an hour).
According to Live Science, at its closest approach to Earth, its speed will be about 30 times faster than the speed of sound, and it will cross Earth’s orbit within 2 million miles (3.2 million kilometers).
But thankfully, its risk to humans will be pretty much non-existent because the Earth will keep it 3.5 million miles away from us.
NASA has been keeping a close eye on the rock and has revealed it’ll be a “close approach” in space terms, The New York Times reported.
Notably, this isn’t the one time that this asteroid has paid a visit to Earth. In 2020, it came even closer at 1.7 million miles away.
The asteroid actually passed Earth with no problems.
It routinely gives Earth a wave about every two years, as it circles around the Sun just like our planet.
It is due to zoom past again in May 2024 but much farther at 6.9 million miles.
The next time it’ll come anywhere near as close as this weekend won’t be until May 2163.
(With inputs from agencies)
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