This asteroid, traveling at 30 times the speed of sound, will pass 3.2 million kilometers from Earth, which is nearly eight times the average distance between Earth and the Moon.
And this distance may seem far, while it is only a stone’s throw away “by astronomical standards,” as Live Science puts it.
NASA defines any space object within 193 million kilometers from Earth as a “closer to our planet” and any fast-moving object within 7.5 million kilometers per hour as “potentially dangerous.”
Once these objects are marked “danger,” NASA scientists keep a close eye on them, looking for any deviations from their path that might put them on a collision course with Earth.
This asteroid was first discovered on January 12, 2008 by the asteroid surveyors at the Mount Lemon Sky Center Observatory in Arizona, USA.
According to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), this asteroid oscillates close to our planet approximately every seven years, and is expected to come close again on May 25, 2029.
As astronomers track any asteroid flying directly toward Earth, space agencies around the world are finding ways to avoid the possibility of it colliding with our planet, by redirecting the object’s path.
On November 24, 2021, NASA launched a spacecraft as part of a mission to test redirect one of those asteroids, Live Science previously reported.