CAPE CANAVERAL, FL (AP) — An asteroid the size of a school bus is headed our way, but NASA says the space rock will zoom safely past Earth on Thursday.
Scientists say the newly discovered asteroid will come within 13,000 miles of Earth, well below many of the communications satellites orbiting the planet.
On Oct. 20, our @OSIRISREx spacecraft travels #ToBennuAndBack to take a sample of the asteroid, precisely targeting a location & avoiding hazards on the way.@Dr_ThomasZ and mission managers will discuss the sample collection attempt Sept. 24, at 3pm ET: https://t.co/Gg1moZe0Pd pic.twitter.com/sAKMk7URUa
— NASA (@NASA) September 22, 2020
The closest approach will occur Thursday morning over the southeastern Pacific Ocean.
Once it’s gone, the asteroid won’t be back this way until 2041.
Scientists estimate the asteroid is between 15 feet and 30 feet. By asteroid standards, that’s considered puny.
Officials say asteroids of this size hit Earth’s atmosphere and burn up once every year or two.