NASA is keeping a close eye on an asteroid that will shake its knees near Earth on Thursday.
The space rock 2008 AG33 is up to 2,560 feet long, making it twice the size of the Empire State Building.
Fortunately, it is expected to singe by at a safe distance and pose no threat to our planet.
The asteroid has been added to Nasa’s Close Approaches Databasetracking thousands of so-called Near Earth Objects (NEOs).
According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the stone is traveling at 37,400 km/h (23,300 mph) – 13 times faster than a bullet.
It will be within about two million miles (3.2 million kilometers) of Earth – a stone’s throw in space.
Any fast-moving object that comes within 4.65 million miles of us is classified as “potentially dangerous” by cautious space organizations.
Thursday’s asteroid was discovered in January 2008 by asteroid surveyors at Arizona’s Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter Observatory.
Its last flyby of Earth was in March 2015. The asteroid passes our planet about every seven years during its orbit around the sun.
It is one of more than 2,000 asteroids, comets and other NEOs being tracked 24/7 by experts.
They are monitored to give us early warning should a space rock come on a collision course with our planet.
Earth has not seen an asteroid of apocalyptic proportions since the monster that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.
However, smaller ones, capable of razing an entire city, crash to the ground every now and then.
A rock a few hundred meters wide devastated 800 square miles of forest near Tunguska in Siberia on June 30, 1908.
Luckily, Nasa doesn’t think any of the NEOs it’s keeping an eye on are on a collision course with our planet.
That could change in the coming months or years, however, as the space agency frequently revises the predicted trajectories of objects.
Astronomers may in future discover a gigantic rock their telescopes had previously indicated, although NASA believes it has found 90 percent of potential planet killers near us.
“NASA is currently not aware of any asteroid or comet on a collision course with Earth, so the likelihood of a major collision is fairly low,” NASA says.
“As far as we can tell, no large object is likely to hit Earth for the next hundred years.”
Even if one did hit our planet, the vast majority of asteroids would not wipe out life as we know it.
According to NASA, “global catastrophes” are only triggered when objects with a diameter of more than 900 meters hit the earth.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8713364/enormous-asteroid-soar-earth-empire-state-building/ A huge “potentially dangerous” asteroid that will fly by Earth tomorrow – and it’s twice the size of the Empire State Building