The Daily Mail reports a ‘potentially hazardous’ asteroid, nearly a mile in length, is set for a close flyby with Earth this month.
Object 2014 JO25 is said to be “among the strongest asteroid radar targets of the year,” and will fly pass Earth within just 4.6 lunar distances on April 19th.
NASA says it is the closest flyby Earth has had with an asteroid of this size in the last decade, and another is not expected to come again for at least 400 years.
The asteroid was first spotted by the Mt Lemmon Survey in May of 2014, with an estimated diameter between, 0.4 to 0.9 miles, the Daily Mail reports.
“The 2017 flyby is the closest by an asteroid at least this large since the encounter by 4179 Toutatis at four lunar distances in September 2004,” the space agency said. “The next known flyby by an object with a comparable or larger diameter will occur when 800-m-diameter asteroid 1999 AN10 approaches within one lunar distance in August 2027.”
“The 2017 encounter is the closest by this asteroid for at least the last 400 years,” NASA said. “There are no known future encounters by 2014 JO25 as close as the one in 2017 through 2500.”
Two other asteroids, 2003 BD44 and 1999 CU3, which are both nearly 2km wide, will also pass by our planet later this year, the Daily Star reports.