‘Potentially hazardous’ asteroid will make close approach to Earth on Super Bowl Sunday

(WHDH) — NASA says a “potentially hazardous” asteroid will make a close approach to Earth on Super Bowl Sunday.

At the time of closest approach at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 4, experts say asteroid “2002 AJ129” will be no closer than 10 times the distance between Earth and the Moon, or about 2.6 million miles.

It’s said to be an intermediate-sized, near-Earth asteroid, somewhere between 0.3 miles and 0.75 miles across, according to NASA.

NASA says the asteroid’s velocity at the time of closest approach, 76,000 mph, is higher than the majority of near-Earth objects during a flyby. The high velocity is said to be a result of the asteroid’s orbit, which approaches very close to the Sun.

Although the asteroid is categorized as a potentially hazardous one, it does not pose an actual threat of colliding with our planet for the foreseeable future, according to experts.

“We have been tracking this asteroid for over 14 years and know its orbit very accurately,” said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies.

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