(NEXSTAR) – A stadium-sized asteroid – or three times the size of the Taj Mahal – is expected to overtake Earth on Saturday.
The asteroid, called “2008Go20”, is heading toward Earth at 18,000 mph, according to Nasa. Nonetheless, the agency says there is no cause for concern.
Approximately 220 meters in diameter, the 2008Go20 will be 0.04 AU (astronomical units) from Earth, or a distance of 3,718,232 miles, according to NASA calculations. Comparatively, the moon is about 238,606 miles from Earth.
However, because the asteroid’s orbit will be very close to Earth, NASA has classified it in the Apollo category, a class that contains the most dangerous asteroids. NASA is monitoring the object.
Asteroids are small rocky objects left over from the formation of the solar system about 4.5 billion years ago. They orbit the sun and mostly live in the asteroid belt, located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Asteroids are made up of different types of rocks, and no two are alike.
In March, the asteroid Apophis, about the size of three football fields, passed close to Earth about 10.4 million kilometers, almost 44 times farther than the Moon.
The asteroid Apophis is expected to pass safely near Earth on April 13, 2029. Initial calculations indicated that there was a small possibility that the asteroid could impact Earth in 2029, and it earned it the nickname of “God of chaos”. NASA has since ruled Earth safe from the asteroid for the next 100 years.