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Anasteroidthat is slightly shorter than the worlds tallest building, Burj Khalifa, is set to harmlessly fly past Earth next month.
Asteroid 2000 QW7 will zip past the third rock from the Sun on Sept. 14 according to theCenter for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). According to a2018 reportput together by , there are more than 18,000 NEOs.
2000 QW7 is massive, estimated to be between 290 and 650 meters (951 and 2,132 feet), making it significantly larger than the Empire State Building and the Washington Monumentcombined.
An artists concept of an asteroid approaching Earth.(Erik Simonsen via Photographers Choice/Getty Images Plus)
The Burj Khalifa, located in Dubai, is the worlds tallest skyscraper, at 2,717 feet. Construction on the building started in 2004 and was completed in 2009.
ASTEROID SIZE OF EMPIRE STATE BUILDING SET TO FLY BY EARTH NEXT WEEK
The massive space rock will fly safely past Earth at an incredible speed, at 14,361 mph and will pass within 0.03564 astronomical units of our planet, or approximately 3.3 million miles.
The space rock is known as a near-Earth object (NEO) and potentially hazardous NEOs are defined as space objects that come within 0.05 astronomical units and measure more than 460 feet in diameter,according to NASA.
The next time it will fly past Earth will be Oct. 19, 2038, according todata from NASA JPL.
NASAhas been preparing for planetary defense from asteroid strikes for years. Arecent surveyshowed that Americans prefer a space program that focuses on potentialasteroidimpacts over sending humans back to themoonor toMars.
In 2016,NASA formalized the agencysprior program for detecting and tracking NEOsand put it inside its Science Mission Directorate.
Last June,NASA unveileda 20-page planthat detailed thesteps the U.S. should take to be better prepared for NEOs such as asteroids and comets that come within 30 million miles of the planet.
In addition to enhancing NEO detection, tracking and characterizing capabilities and improving modeling prediction, the plan also aims to develop technologies for deflecting NEOs, increasing international cooperation and establishing new NEO impact emergency procedures and action protocols.
Separately in April, NASAAdministrator Jim Bridenstinesaid that anasteroidstrikeis not something to be taken lightly and is perhaps Earths biggest threat.
We have to make sure that people understand that this is not about Hollywood, its not about movies, Bridenstine said at the International Academy of Astronautics 2019 Planetary Defense Conference in College Park, Md., according . This is about ultimately protecting the only planet we know right now to host life, and that is the planet Earth.
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