NASA has confirmed that a massive asteroid, named (153201) 2000 WO107, will barrel past Earth on Sunday. The asteroid is over 800 metres in height and over 500 metres in diameter, making it much larger than the UAE skyscraper Burj Khalifa.
Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building with a height of 829.8 metre and asteroid 2000 WO107, which was discovered in 2000, has a diameter is 820 metre.
According to the space agency, the asteroid will zoom past the Earth from a safe distance after being at its closest at around 10.38 am IST on November 29.
The massive asteroid has been classified as a Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA). NEA is a group of comets and asteroids pulled into the orbit due to the gravitational forces of nearby planets, which allows them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood.
Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has classified it as a ‘Potentially Hazardous Asteroid’ due to its predicted close pass with Earth.
The asteroid will be at a distance of 43 lakh kilometres from the earth even when it is closest to the planet. This distance is more than the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
NASA has ruled out any chance of a civilisation threatening risk as such instances happen once in million years.
It was last officially seen on January 13, 2018 and after November 29, it is expected to pass by Earth on February 6, 2031, according to reports.
This asteroid, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory website, was discovered in the year 2000. It is 800 m high and 500 m in diameter.
The Burj Khalifa-sized asteroid is made up of mostly ice and embedded dust particles and approaches Earth when they are nudged by its gravitational pull to enter their orbit. They are classified as near-Earth objects.
It is also listed as Potentially Hazardous Asteroid based on its potential to make threatening approaches to the Earth. According to NASA any celestial object with a minimum orbit intersection distance of 0.05 au has been labelled as Potentially Hazardous Asteroid.