Asteroid 4660 Nereus, a giant asteroid more prominent than the Eiffel Tower, will break into Earth’s orbit in just over a week.
On Dec. 11, NASA expects it to be at its closest point to Earth in over 20 years. The asteroid was discovered in 1982 by astronomer Eleanor Helin.
The 4660 Nereus measures 492 feet by 1,082 feet and will come within 4.6 million miles of Earth. That puts it in the “potentially hazardous” category.
However, there’s no reason to be concerned because Asteroid Nereus isn’t projected to collide with Earth, reported NY Post.
If everything goes according to plan, it should fly by our planet at 14,700 miles per hour.
According to NASA, the space rock is expected to stay 2.4 million miles away from us—around ten times the distance between the Earth and the moon.
Space organizations consider any fast-moving object that comes within 4.65 million miles to be possibly harmful. One small change to their trajectories could spell disaster for Earth.
NASA classified any object traveling within 120 million miles of Earth as a near-Earth object (NEO). As a result, thousands of NEOs are being tracked by experts to see if they’re on a collision course with our world, reported The Hill.
According to Forbes, Nereus has been recommended as a destination for a space mission several times; because of its egg form, size, and orbital route around the sun, it is a perfect asteroid to visit. In addition, researchers regarded Nereus as “a strong candidate for a rendezvous mission” in 2009.
According to Asterank, a database that tracks over 600,000 asteroids, Nereus is valued at $4.71 billion, making it one of the most cost-effective asteroids to exploit for mineral resources. The asteroid is anticipated to be rich in nickel, iron, and cobalt, worth billions of dollars.