An asteroid spanning one-third of a mile will hurtle past earth at some 76,000 mph on Super Bowl Sunday.
And while NASA calls the rocky mass known as 2002 AJ129 a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid,” fear not: It’s not slated to crash into Earth.
“We have been tracking this asteroid for over 14 years and know its orbit very accurately,” Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, said in a statement.
“Our calculations indicate that asteroid 2002 AJ129 has no chance — zero — of colliding with Earth on Feb. 4 or any time over the next 100 years.”
So what makes the asteroid “potentially hazardous”? NASA uses a preset criteria to define such bodies. Any that come within 4,650,000 miles of Earth and measure more than 500 feet in diameter become categorized as “Potentially Hazardous Asteroids.”
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SOURCE: USA Today, Josh Hafner