The US-based space agency’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) site has released surprisingly detailed data about the errant asteroid. NASA has confirmed 153201 2000 WO107 will barrel past Earth on Sunday, November 29.
The uninvited visitor to our cosmic neighbourhood will at its closet pass Earth at 10.09am GMT (5.09am ET).
The asteroid is expected to be a real monster, estimated to range anywhere between 12,00ft to 2,5700ft across (370m and 820m).
To put this into perspective, the rogue space rock at it widest is almost the height of Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa skyscraper, the tallest building in the world.
NASA has also forecast how the asteroid is currently speeding through space at a whopping 25.07km/s – the equivalent of 56,000mph.
However, even the most eagle-eyed astronomers will not be able to see the asteroid from terra firma.
This is because 2000 WO107 is only coming within 0.02876 Astronomical Units to Earth (2,673,409 miles).
But although it may seem a stretch of the imagination for NASA to describe this asteroid as making a ‘close approach’, the term is technically correct.
This is especially the case when taking the infinite scale of space into account.
The space agency classes the rock as a Near Earth Object (NEO), the term for any asteroid or comet coming within 1.3 AU of Earth.
One AU is a useful astronomy measurement, the equivalent to the average distance between the Earth and the Sun.
NASA has even confirmed how 2000 WO107 is not the only asteroid to make such a relatively close approach to our planet on Sunday, November 29.
The space agency’s NEO site lists 2020 WC2 as making a somewhat less spectacular appearance at the weekend.
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This asteroid will be at its closet point to the blue planet at 7.04pm GMT (2.04pm ET).
Measuring just 180ft (55m) across, it is significantly smaller than its predecessor.
And its other stats are also less impressive, with asteroid zooming through the cosmos at ‘just’ 22.33km/s (50,500mph)
The asteroid will also be far further away than Sunday’s earlier encounter, at 0.03582 AU (3,329,676 miles).
But both space rocks are classified as Apollo asteroids, describing their inevitable trajectory toward’s Earth’s orbit.
Although there is zero possibility of either impacting Earth, NASA’s National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan is already preparing for a worst-case scenario.
The space agency has previously acknowledged how asteroids even 1km across can result in apocalyptic scenarios.
Fortunately, such events are so rare Earth has not encountered such a catastrophic asteroid collision since the one responsible for wiping out the dinosaurs 66million years ago.
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