An asteroid twice the size of the world’s tallest building will fly past Earth next month. NASA has called the mile-wide space rock “potentially hazardous.”
The asteroid is named 231937 (2001 FO32). It is unlikely that it will hit the Earth as it will be 1.2 million miles away from us. That is five times further away than the Moon.
However, NASA calls any object that comes within 93 million miles of our planet a “Near Earth Object.”
According to NASA, the asteroid will be closest to Earth at 16:03 GMT on March 21. They have said the rock is “potentially hazardous” because it “might hit the planet at some point in the future of our solar system.”
Scientists first discovered the asteroid in 2001 using telescopes in New Mexico, part of the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program.
The asteroid has been under observation ever since.
Space agencies around the world are investigating possible solutions to deflect future space rocks from hitting Earth. NASA is looking at using gravity from a flying spacecraft to direct an asteroid to a new trajectory.