An asteroid as big as the Empire State Building is blowing toward Earth, and reports suggest that Saturday will be a whisper of a relative close call.
Named the 2002 NN4, the giant space rock is estimated to be 820 to 1,870 feet in diameter, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. CBS News reports.
The Big Apple’s iconic building on West 34th Street is over 1,400 feet high.
The asteroid, which travels at 20,000 miles per hour, can cause catastrophic damage to our planet, Florida University of Florida Gulf Coast physics professor Derek Pucasi Told USA Today.
Fusasi says that this is larger than about 90 percent of the small planets, which he likened to a football field.
But fortunately, the asteroid is projected to be over 3 million miles – or 13 times farther than the moon, NASA told the news agency.
“In a nutshell, the 2002 NN4 is a very well-known asteroid with a known orbit that crosses the Earth at a (very) safe distance,” said Jet Propulsion Lab of Ian J. O’Neill wrote.
Information about the 2002 NN4 is listed in NASA’s Center for Earth Material Studies, which tracks close approaches to our planet.
While it is unlikely that an asteroid will strike at any time, scientists gathered at a 2019 conference to discuss how to respond to an adult large enough to destroy a large city.
“All we have to do is change its velocity a little faster or a little slower. When it crosses the Earth’s orbit, it goes in front of us or behind us,” said Dr. Lori Glaze, NASA’s director of planetary science. CBS News.
There are 20,000 asteroids in the Earth’s galaxy that are seldom impacted, and in 2013, 1,600 people were injured when one collided with Russia.
“It doesn’t really keep me up at night,” Claes told the network.