NASA predicts that this huge asteroid will fly past the Earth on December 11. This asteroid has been classified as 4660 Nereus, and NASA does consider it very dangerous. According to the organization, the asteroid is almost three times the size of a football field-about the size of the Eiffel Tower.
Although it may be dangerous if it hits the Earth, NASA said the asteroid will fly by the Earth at a distance of approximately 3.9 million kilometers. This distance is ten times the distance between the earth and the moon, so it should not pose any threat to our planet. In the past, scientists have considered missions to asteroids, but never did it.
However, potentially dangerous asteroids are not uncommon. As early as September, it was reported that a huge asteroid with a diameter of about 1,120 feet would fly by about 19,000 miles from the Earth in 2029. This will make it one of our closest “encounters” with an asteroid. However, like 4660 Nereus, this asteroid will not create any possibility of impact for the next 100 years. Another asteroid named 2021RL3 was 1,804,450 miles from Earth when it flew by. For reference, the average distance between the earth and the moon is about 380,000 kilometers.
Eleanor F. Helin first discovered 4660 Nereus in 1982. 4660 Nereus is just one of several asteroids in the Apollo group of asteroids. All asteroids in this group are known for being close to the Earth when orbiting the sun.
The asteroid orbits the sun every 664 days. However, scientists predict that it will not approach the Earth again until March 2031. After that, it is expected to approach the earth again in 2050.