Asteroid larger than the Empire State Building on its way to Earth

Asteroid larger than the Empire State Building on its way to Earth

NASA keeps an eye on a giant asteroid heading towards Earth.

The US space agency expects asteroid 388945 (2008 TZ3) to approach our planet on April 15.

The giant space rock is said to be as wide as 1,608 feet.

In comparison, New York’s iconic Empire State Building is 444 meters tall.

An asteroid that size would cause serious damage if it hit Earth.

However, there is no need to panic as Asteroid 388945 (2008 TZ3) should pass us from a distance of about 3.5 million miles.

That might sound pretty far away, but in the big universe, that’s not a big distance at all.

That’s why Nasa still marked it as “close approach.”

When an asteroid approaches within 4.65 million miles and exceeds a certain size, cautious space agencies classify it as “potentially dangerous.”

Flaming asteroid moving through earth
The asteroid is approaching Earth and is estimated to be larger than the Empire State Building.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sunday’s asteroid fits that description.

It should shoot past from a safe distance at just over 18,000 mph.

Nasa says the asteroid should pass Earth around 5:18 p.m. ET and 9:18 p.m. GMT.

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 impact a small asteroid called Dimorphos in September to throw it off course.

This story originally appeared on The Sun and is reproduced here with permission.

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