JAKARTA, NNC – NASA is tracking a large asteroid that will pass through Earth at a distance of only 200,000 miles (320,000 km) on February 4, 2018.
The asteroid, named AJ129 2002, is bigger than the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. The asteroid has been classed as 'potentially dangerous'.
The asteroid will travel at 67,000 mph (107,826kmh), which makes it nearly 15 times faster than the world's fastest manned aircraft, the hypersonic North American X-15.
Despite having a 'dangerous' classification, NASA says there is no possibility of colliding with Earth next week.
The asteroid is about 1.1 miles (1.1 km) wide and makes it longer than Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands at a height of 0.5 miles (0.8 km).
The asteroid is set to pass through our planet at a distance of about 2,615,128 miles (4,208,641km) that is relatively close in space. As a reference, the distance between Earth and the moon is 238,855 miles (384,400 km).
NASA described asteroids as 'dangerous' if they are within 4.600,000 miles (7403.00km) of our planet.
"We have been tracking this asteroid for more than 14 years, and we know its orbit very accurately.Our calculations show that the AJ129 2002 asteroid has no chance of colliding with Earth on February 4, or within the next 100 years," says Paul Chodas, manager of the NASA Center for Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, as quoted by Daily Mail, Sunday (28/1/2018).
This asteroid was discovered on January 15, 2002 by the NASA Asteroid Tracking project. This is the largest space rock that can sweep our planet. Previous research has found this asteroid could make the Earth fall into an ice age if it collides.