NASA says a massive asteroid larger than the Eiffel Tower will enter Earth’s orbit next week, putting it in the “potentially dangerous” category.
NASA has warned that a giant asteroid bigger than the Eiffel Tower will enter Earth’s orbit in just a week.
The giant 1082-foot (330 m) space rock, about as big as a football field, is headed our way and should pass in front of us on December 11, Sun Report.
NASA Asteroid 4660 has its eye on Nereus because it is over 492 feet tall and will come within 4.6 million miles (7.4 million km) of Earth. This places it in the “potentially dangerous” category.
However, there is no need to panic as the asteroid Nereus is not expected to make an impact on Earth.
If all goes well, it should be moving past our planet at 14,700 mph (23,657 kph).
NASA is expecting the space rock to remain 2.4 million miles (3.9 million km) away from us.
This is about 10 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
It may seem far away but it is actually as close as near-Earth asteroids go.
NASA considers anything that passes within 120 million miles (19.3 million km) of Earth as a Near-Earth Object (NEO).
Thousands of NEOs are tracked by scientists to monitor whether they are on a collision course with our planet.
NASA has a whole table full of them which it constantly updates.
Any fast-moving space object that comes within 4.65 million miles (7.5 million km) is considered “potentially dangerous” by alert space organizations.
A small change in their trajectory could spell disaster for Earth.
The asteroid Nereus was first observed in 1982 by astronomer Eleanor Helin.
It passes Earth quite frequently so NASA and the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) once considered it a ‘punching’ with the Hayabusa spacecraft.
Instead, the space agencies have agreed to target asteroid 25143 Itokawa as part of their Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART).
In other news, NASA plans to put a nuclear power plant on the Moon within this decade.
And scientists are using the winds on Mars to produce the first complete picture of how it happened three billion years ago.
This story first appeared on Sun and is republished here with permission