A stadium-sized asteroid will pass 'close' to Earth tomorrow

Scientists are keeping a close eye on a large asteroid that’s set to pass close to Earth tomorrow.

While there’s no chance of a hit, the asteroid is passing near enough to make it on to Nasa’s ‘potentially hazardous’ list.

The asteroid, named 2002 NN4, is travelling at over 20,000 miles per hour and measures over 1,000 feet across.

Needless to say, the damage it would inflict on Earth if it did hit us would be severe.

Thankfully, experts say it will pass us at a distance of about three million miles away – roughly 13 times further away than the moon.

‘In short, 2002 NN4 is a very well-known asteroid with a known orbit that will pass Earth at a (very) safe distance,’ wrote Ian J. O’Neill of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Any asteroid passing within 4.6 million miles of Earth is deemed a ‘potentially hazardous object’.

‘Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth,’ Nasa explains.

‘On a daily basis, about one hundred tons of interplanetary material drifts down to the Earth’s surface,’ said Nasa’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).

‘Most of the smallest interplanetary particles that reach the Earth’s surface are the tiny dust particles that are released by comets as their ices vaporize in the solar neighborhood.

‘The vast majority of the larger interplanetary material that reaches the Earth’s surface originates as the collision fragments of asteroids that have run into one another some eons ago.’

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