The space rock 2019 QY5 was discovered just two days ago and is hurtling towards Earth for the first time ever. However, the rock will reportedly pass by Earth safely later on today.
JPL classified the rock as an Amor-type asteroid. Amor asteroids follow an orbital path that allows them to safely approach Earth without crossing into the planet’s orbit.
According to NASA’s Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the asteroid could be 59 foot in diameter and more than 134 foot across.
The space rock is not one of the largest NEOs to hurtle past Earth but is still big compared to some of Earth’s more recent visitors.
Asteroid 2019 QY5 is nearly four times bigger than the 34-foot asteroid that skimmed past Earth on August 21. However, the 34-foot space rock passed by closer to Earth than the moon.
Asteroid QY5 will not pose any threat to Earth and its inhabitants.
The asteroid will pass by Earth at a distance of 2.5 million miles which is 10.73 times the distance of the moon.
Previously, the rock passed by Jupiter nearly a century ago. The object will pass by Jupiter again in 2098 and then return for a second visit to Earth in 2112.
NASA estimates that at least 95 percent of asteroids one kilometre (3,280 feet) or larger have been cataloged, with none posing a threat to Earth.
Space group B612’s President Danica Remy claimed the risk to Earth from asteroids is very small in the short-term but inevitable in the long-term.
Speaking to NBC she said she was 100 percent convinced of a future collision. She said: “It’s 100 percent certain that we’re going to get hit, but we’re not 100 percent certain when.”
She continued: “The kind of devastation that we’d be looking at is more of at a regional level than a planetary level, but it’s still going to have global impact — on transportation, networking, climate, weather.”
NASA is now mounting a mission to test a system for deflecting asteroids.