Asteroid 2008 OS7: Potentially hazardous asteroid the size of football pitch heading towards Earth, says Nasa

A potentially hazardous asteroid is heading towards EarthA potentially hazardous asteroid is heading towards Earth
A potentially hazardous asteroid is heading towards Earth | Getty Images
Nasa says a potentially hazardous asteroid the size of football pitch is heading towards Earth

An asteroid, deemed "potentially hazardous" by Nasa and comparable in size to a football pitch, is currently heading towards Earth. The asteroid, named 2008 OS7, has a diameter of approximately 890 feet and is expected to pass by our planet at a safe distance of 1,770,000 miles at 2.41 pm (GMT) this Friday afternoon (February 2).

However, despite its proximity, there is no risk of a collision. Nasa classifies asteroids as potentially hazardous when they exceed approximately 460 feet (140 meters) in size and have orbits that bring them within 4.6 million miles (7.5 million kilometres) of Earth's orbit around the Sun.

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Dr Minjae Kim, Research Fellow, Department of Physics, University of Warwick, said: “2008 OS7, a very small asteroid whose orbit intersects with that of Earth, has been classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA).

He added: “We don’t need to worry about it too much as this asteroid will not enter Earth’s atmosphere, while this will still approach close to the Earth. There are more than millions of asteroids in our solar system, of which approximately 2,350 asteroids have been classified as PHAs. The next significant approach to Earth by a PHA will be the 99942 Apophis on April 14 2029.”

Asteroid 2008 OS7 completes an orbit around the sun every 962 days (2.63 Earth years).

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