NASA expects a giant asteroid to zoom past Earth this weekend.
According to the US space agency, asteroid 2022 GU6 could be as wide as 492 feet.
That would make it taller than the Statue of Liberty.
The famous New York landmark is 305 feet tall including its pedestal.
The great space rock is expected to come within 750,000 miles of Earth.
That’s pretty close spatially, so Nasa has labeled it as “close approach.”
The close encounter is expected to take place this Sunday at 8:01 a.m. ET.
An asteroid that size would cause serious damage if it hit Earth.
Luckily, Nasa doesn’t expect to veer off course.
NASA keeps a table of all the asteroids it observes.
When an asteroid approaches within 4.65 million miles of Earth and exceeds a certain size, cautious space agencies classify it as “potentially dangerous.”
Sunday’s asteroid was expected to hurtle past us at 18,000 miles per hour.
Plans to save Earth from asteroids
Some experts are concerned that Earth is not yet ready to defend itself against potentially deadly asteroids.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk once raised concern by tweeting, “A big rock will eventually hit the earth and we have no defenses at this time.”
However, Nasa is investigating some defense methods.
It recently launched its Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission.
Nasa said, “DART is the first-ever mission dedicated to studying and demonstrating a method of asteroid deflection by altering the motion of an asteroid in space through kinetic impact.”
The DART spacecraft was scheduled to smash into a small asteroid called Dimorphos in September to throw it off course.
https://www.the-sun.com/tech/5534658/huge-asteroid-nasa-near-earth/ Huge asteroid, larger than the Statue of Liberty, is approaching Earth this weekend