The biggest asteroid ever predicted to fly past Earth this year will zip by at a safe distance this Sunday, NASA says.
Scientists believe that the object is between 1,300 and 2,230 feet wide.
The near-Earth asteroid, called 2001 FO32, will be 1.25 million miles, or approximately five times the distance between Earth and the moon during its nearest approach.
It will be moving a lot faster than most asteroids that fly by our planet, bombing along at approximately 77,000 miles per hour.
The asteroid will be closest to our planet at 12:03 p.m. ET this Sunday.
A new release from NASA suggests that there is no real threat of a collision now, and neither will there be in the following few centuries.
“We know the orbital path of 2001 FO32 around the Sun very accurately since it was discovered 20 years ago and has been tracked ever since. […] There is no chance the asteroid will get any closer to Earth than 1.25 million miles,” said Paul Chodas, the director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, in a recent statement.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs run that centre from Pasadena, California.
Though the space object won’t come close enough to provoke any danger, it is still believed that it will be a potentially hazardous asteroid considering the proximity of its trajectory.
The asteroid moves faster than other dues to its elongated, angled orbit around the Sun.
That orbit takes the object closer to the Sun than Mercury and twice as far as Mars.