Don’t panic: Huge, headline-grabbing asteroid has no chance of hitting us anytime soon

The bad news is that an asteroid of city-killing proportions is heading in our direction, but the good news is that it’ll miss us on Saturday night by 3.2 million miles.

The space rock, known as 2002 NN4, generated enough scary headlines that NASA felt compelled to put out a reassuring note today. “There is no danger the asteroid will hit the Earth,” NASA said.

The asteroid has been described as being as big as the Empire State Building, but Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait points out that one study estimates it as being even larger, with a diameter of 735 meters (2,400 feet). That’s not as big as the dinosaur-killing asteroid that struck 65 million years ago, but big enough to cause widespread destruction.

Researchers say it’s just a matter of time before a killer space rock is detected on a collision trajectory. That’s why NASA and other space agencies are planning missions such as Hera and the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, to see what it would take to divert a threatening asteroid. You’ll be hearing more about this during the buildup to Asteroid Day on June 30.https://www.webtopblogger.com

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