Photo credit: Express
According to NASA, a VW Beetle-sized asteroid is hurtling towards Earth and is set to pass by on January 2, 2020. This space rock measures diameter 13 meters in diameter, and is officially called “2019 AE3”. Currently, it’s traversing our solar system at a speed of 8.2 kilometers per second (5MPS), and will be closest to Earth on January 2 at just 0.013 astronomical units away. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA reports that the asteroid is between 32 and 71 feet long, or roughly the size of a city bus, and is zipping by the cosmos at 18,400 miles per hour. Fortunately, this Near Earth Object (NEO) won’t come within striking distance of Earth, as the closest it’s expected to get is four lunar distances — about 1 million miles – at approximately 9 a.m. EST.
I know the possibilities of me dying in an asteroid collision is less than dying from a lightning strike. But I also know that if we do nothing, sooner or later, there is a one hundred percent chance that one will get us. So I feel privileged to be doing something,” said Greg Leonard who a senior research expert at Catalina Sky Survey.