NASA: Massive Asteroid will zoom near Earth on February 4th – at 76,000 mph

Watts Up With That?

Asteroid 2002 AJ129 will make a close approach to Earth on Feb. 4, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. PST (4:30 p.m. EST / 21:30 UTC). It is expected to be the largest and speediest space object to whiz past the Earth in 2018. The 0.7-mile long body is larger than the tallest building on Earth, Dubai’s half-mile high Burj Khalifa skyscraper will zoom past Earth at 76,000 miles per hour.

At the time of closest approach, the asteroid will be no closer than 10 times the distance between Earth and the Moon (about 2.6 million miles, or 4.2 million kilometers). So, it will miss Earth, as seen in this animation below.

2002 AJ129 is an intermediate-sized near-Earth asteroid, somewhere between 0.3 miles (0.5 kilometers) and 0.75 miles (1.2 kilometers) across. It was discovered on Jan. 15, 2002, by the former NASA-sponsored Near Earth Asteroid Tracking project at the Maui Space Surveillance Site…

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