A stadium-sized asteroid is set to whiz past Earth this week.
The space agency classifies asteroid 2002 NN4 as a “potentially hazardous object” because it is larger than 492 feet and traveling within 4.6 million miles of Earth.
In 2019 a football-field-sized asteroid flew past Earth at more than 30,000 mph.
In 2016, NASA opened a new office to track asteroids and comets that come too close to Earth. The Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) formalized the agency’s prior program for detecting and tracking near-Earth Objects, known as NEOs.
A small chunk of an asteroid or comet is known as a meteoroid. When it enters Earth's atmosphere, it becomes a meteor, fireball or shooting star. The pieces of rock that hit the ground, valuable to collectors, are called meteorites.
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