PUBLISHED: 13:46, Fri, Feb 14, 2020 | UPDATED: 14:07, Fri, Feb 14, 2020
The "potentially hazardous asteroid" measures up to 3,280ft (one kilometre) across and is headed our way at about 35,567mph (57,240km/h). Reports of the asteroid’s imminent approach have flooded social media, with many fearing the space rock will slam into Earth.
On Thursday, February 13, NASA’s Asteroid Watch Twitter account confirmed the space rock will make a close pass of our planet on Saturday, February 15.
Many Twitter users expressed their fears at the thought of an asteroid this big striking the planet.
Marvin Sommershof tweeted: "A killer virus spreading, asteroids on route to Earth and signals from outer space.
"Sounds like a #DoctorWho two part episode screaming for a happy end… Please.”
Another person said: “Soooooo we have a f****** huge a** ‘planet killer’ sized asteroid approaching Earth and we just gonna ignore it??????”
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Asteroid news: A potentially hazardous rock is rapidly approaching Earth, NASA confirmed (Image: GETTY)
Asteroid news: People took to social media to discuss the asteroid approach (Image: TWITTER)
One Twitter user also said: “Sooooo did y’all know there was an asteroid headed to Earth & it could kill millions?
“Yeah...according to NASA, it should be here before noon on Saturday. Maybe that’ll give me a reason to call off from work.”
The space rock in question is Asteroid 163373 (2002 PZ39), which was first observed by astronomers in 2002.
According to NASA’s estimates, the rock measures somewhere between 1,443ft and 3248ft (440m to 990m) in diameter.
The agency believes a direct hit from an asteroid at the upper end of the estimate can have global consequences.