‘Potentially Hazardous’ Asteroid to Pass By Earth on Super Bowl Sunday

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.”

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: USA Today, Josh Hafner