NASA is keeping an eye on a giant asteroid that is just over a month away from making a close approach to Earth.
The ‘potentially dangerous’ space rock is said to be 4,265 feet wide.
That makes it almost three times as large as the Empire State Building.
The Empire State Building is about 1,453 feet tall, so that would pale in comparison to Asteroid 138971 (2001 CB21).
Nasa has included the asteroid on its list of ‘Near-Earth Approaches’.
The good news is that it won’t hit Earth.
An asteroid of this size would do some serious damage.
It will shoot over us on March 4 from an estimated distance of 3 million miles.
For comparison, the Moon is only about 238,900 miles away.
A few million miles sounds like a long way off, but it’s actually pretty close in terms of space.
Nasa considers anything that passes near Earth’s orbit as a Near-Earth Object (NEO).
Thousands of NEOs are tracked by scientists to see if they are on their way to collide with our planet.
Any fast-moving space object within 4.65 million miles is considered “potentially dangerous” by cautious space organizations.
A small change to their orbits could spell disaster for the Earth.
Nasa predicts that Asteroid 138971 (2001 CB21) will pass by Earth at about 27,000 miles per hour in the early hours of March 4.
That means the space agency has just over a month to prepare for the helicopter flight.
Plan to save Earth from asteroids
Some experts worry that Earth is not yet ready to defend itself from potentially deadly asteroids.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk ever caused concern by tweeting: “a big rock will eventually hit the Earth and we currently have no defenses.”
Nasa is looking at several defensive methods.
It recently launched its Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission.
Nasa speak: “DART is the first mission devoted to the investigation and demonstration of a method of asteroid deflection by altering the asteroid’s motion through space through kinetic impact.”
The DART spacecraft will crash into a small asteroid called Dimorphos in September with the aim of sending it off course.
In other news, Nasa has upgraded Asteroid dangerous software with some key changes that will help it better detect potentially dangerous space rocks.
Nasa revealed Beautiful footage of solar energy burst into action.
And, the US space agency is planning for a ‘golden asteroid’ The exploratory mission will launch this summer.
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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/4545087/nasa-huge-near-earth-asteroid-three-times-empire-state/ Nasa says asteroid three times larger than Empire State Building just a MONTH from Earth ‘close approach’