An enormous, 3-mile-wide “potentially hazardous asteroid” is hurtling toward Earth and is slated to zoom past the planet, but scientists say there is no need to worry. Known as 3200 Phaethon, the space rock orbits the Sun and is expected to come the closest it has come to Earth since 1974, 6.4-million miles away, according to a statement from NASA. There is no chance the asteroid will hit Earth and won’t come this close again until 2093.
Despite that, it has been classified as a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid” by the Minor Planet Center, NASA added in the statement. NASA said that the asteroid is “potentially detectable at Goldstone [a NASA communications complex] for about three weeks and tracks are scheduled on ten days between Dec. 11-21.” The government agency said that it will also remain visible at the Arecibo observatory, located in Puerto Rico, between Dec. 15 and Dec. 19. READ MORE