Passing ‘Roid: Asteroid to Whiz Very Close to Earth

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A massive asteroid is getting ready to whiz extra close to Earth this Sunday.

Chill out. No need to freak out. NASA says it won’t hit Earth. It won’t even be visible with the naked eye. So, dust off your telescopes and you should be able to get a nice glimpse at it.

The asteroid, called 20014 RC, was discovered on August 31 by the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona.

NASA’s Near Earth Object Program estimates there are thousands of asteroids that could threaten Earth, but experts say none of the ones being tracked are expected to hit the planet anytime soon.

NASA is trying to speed up the way it tracks potentially hazardous asteroids and to learn how to deflect rocks that threaten Earth. ItsAsteroid Initiative includes a plan to capture an asteroid and tug it into orbit around the moon in the 2020s. If it works, astronauts will land on the asteroid, take samples and bring them back to Earth.