NASA is keeping an eye on an asteroid the size of the Empire State Building to get closer to Earth.
NASA is keeping an eye on a huge asteroid that is heading towards Earth.
The US space agency predicts that asteroid 388945 (2008 TZ3) will approach our planet on May 15.
The giant space rock is expected to be up to 0.5km wide, The sun relationships.
By comparison, New York’s iconic Empire State Building stands 443m tall.
An asteroid of this size would cause serious damage if it hit Earth.
There is no need to panic because asteroid 388945 (2008 TZ3) is expected to overtake us from a distance of approximately 3.5 million miles away.
It may seem far enough, but in the grand scheme of space it is by no means a great distance.
That’s why NASA still marked it as a “close approach”.
If an asteroid arrives within 4.65 million miles and exceeds a certain size, it is considered “potentially dangerous” by cautious space agencies.
Sunday’s asteroid fits this description.
It is expected to pass from its safe distance at a speed of just over 28,970 km per hour.
NASA says the asteroid is expected to overtake Earth at around 7:18 AEST.
Plans to save the Earth from asteroids
Some experts are concerned that the Earth is not yet ready to defend itself against potentially deadly asteroids.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk once sparked concern by tweeting: “A big rock will hit Earth eventually and we currently have no defense.”
However, NASA is looking into some defense methods.
It recently launched its double asteroid redirect test mission.
NASA said: “DART is the first ever mission dedicated to studying and demonstrating a method of deflecting an asteroid by modifying the motion of an asteroid in space through kinetic impact.”
The DART aircraft is expected to crash into a small asteroid called Dimorphos in September with the aim of moving it off course.
This story originally appeared on The sun and has been reproduced here with permission.
Originally published as Larger asteroid than the Empire State Building destined to pass close to Earth