NASA detects 'potentially dangerous' asteroid nearly the size of the Eiffel Tower approaching Earth

The US Space Agency warns on its website that a potentially dangerous asteroid has been detected. Here's when it will pass close to Earth.

NASA potentially dangerous asteroid warning danger Earth
© Maciej Frolow / Getty Images
NASA potentially dangerous asteroid warning danger Earth

Every week, astronomers and space agencies scan the sky for asteroids passing a little too close to us. Naturally, the most massive are the easiest to detect. And one of these celestial objects, first observed in 2008, is considered 'potentially dangerous'. It will pass close to Earth over the next few days.

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(2008 OS7), an Apollo-class asteroid

Most of the asteroids on NASA's weekly list are small. They are often recently spotted asteroids that pose no major threat.

But (2008 OS7) is not average. On the one hand, it was spotted almost 14 years ago (on July 30, 2008 to be precise), and on the other, it's a sizeable object: it's estimated to measure 271 meters.

That's almost the height of the Eiffel Tower, which stands at 330 metres.

This asteroid is potentially dangerous

According to NASA, an asteroid is considered 'potentially dangerous' if it is more than 150 meters long and passes within 7.5 million kilometers of the Earth. This is the case of (2008 OS7), scheduled to pass within 2,850,000 kilometers of our planet on February 2. Note that this is an approach date, not a collision date. Barring a major miscalculation, this asteroid should remain at a safe distance from us and cause no damage.

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This article has been translated from Gentside FR.

Sources used:

NASA: Next Five Asteroid Approaches

NASA: Small-Body Database Lookup

NASA detects an asteroid approaching Earth, here's what it means for us NASA detects an asteroid approaching Earth, here's what it means for us