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Asteroid to make close approach to Earth this weekend

Asteroid to make close approach to Earth this weekend
Posted at 10:13 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-03 22:43:57-04

Don’t worry, 2020 will not be the year a massive asteroid will hit the Earth.

But astronomers will still have their eyes to the sky this weekend when asteroid 163348 (2002 NN4) will glide 3 million miles past Earth on Saturday. The asteroid is roughly the size of the stadium, with a diameter of 1,100 feet.

The asteroid will whiz by the earth at a distance of more than 10 times further than the orbit of the moon. The asteroid poses no threat to Earth, or any spacecrafts.

163348 is one of thousands of near-earth objects NASA tracks. The objects range from the size of automobiles to over a kilometer in diameter. The vast majority of these objects are smaller.

But even smaller objects can be damaging on a local level.

In 2013, a 60-meter-wide meteor entered the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia. The resulting airblast caused a number of injuries due to broken windows.