An asteroid estimated to be the size of six football fields will whiz past Earth Saturday night — but no, you’re not in danger.
Asteroid 2002 NN4 will pass by Earth on Saturday at 11:20 p.m. ET, NASA says. At an estimated diameter of up to 1,870 feet, according to the Center for Near Earth Object Studies, it’ll definitely seem like a big one.
But, it’ll be about 3.2 million miles away from our planet, 13 times further away than the moon, NASA says, so there’s truly no reason to worry.
And these kinds of occurrences are pretty normal. Last August, an asteroid estimated to be about the same size as 2002 NN4 passed by Earth, and experts at the time called it moderately sized.
And, this asteroid is less than a mile long. The biggest known asteroid that orbits the sun is a whopping 21 miles long, Lindley Johnson of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office told CNN last year.
Still, the probability of an asteroid actually hitting Earth is pretty slim — occurring once every two or three centuries, Johnson said at the time.
In 2013, a meteor just 55 feet in diameter broke through the Earth’s atmosphere over Russia. The meteor didn’t actually make impact with the planet, but the blast still injured more than 1,00 people.
Being millions of miles away, that shouldn’t be the case with 2002 NN4. So you can spend Saturday evening relaxing, knowing that an asteroid is in fact not coming to blast us. Today, at least.
The next time 2002 NN4 will be anywhere near this close to us is in June 2029.
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