NASA warns of 3 skyscraper-sized asteroids headed toward Earth this week

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This week, three sizable space rocks will make a close approach to Earth as they travel through our solar system. However, there is no need for concern as the nearest one will pass by our planet at a safe distance of 2.2 million miles (3.5 million kilometers), which is approximately 10 times the average distance between the Earth and the moon, as confirmed by NASA. It’s worth noting that our solar system is home to millions of rogue space rocks.

On Monday (Feb. 27), an asteroid named 2012 DK31 will sail past our planet at a distance of about 3 million miles (4.8 million km). The asteroid measures an estimated 450 feet (137 meters) across, or about as wide as a 40-story skyscraper is tall, and its orbit around the sun crosses Earth’s orbit every few years.

Although the space rock poses no imminent threat to Earth, NASA classifies it as a potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA) – meaning the rock is large enough and orbits close enough to Earth that it could cause serious damage if its trajectory changed and a collision occurred.

Generally, any asteroid measuring greater than 450 feet wide and orbiting within 4.6 million miles (7.5 million km) of Earth is considered a PHA. (NASA has mapped this asteroid’s trajectory for the next 200 years, and no collisions are predicted to occur).