KEY POINTS

  • A giant 2,690-foot asteroid is making its way toward Earth
  • The NEA is said to be as tall as the Burj Khalifa  
  • 153201 (2000 WO107) has not been included in the ESA Risk List

Just a few days before December, Earth will be witnessing a flyby of a massive asteroid.

NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has reported in its Close Approach Data Table about a colossal asteroid hurtling toward Earth. Asteroids making close approaches with Earth is a common thing for the planet, but what makes the upcoming Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) threatening is its size.

The NEA to zip by on Nov. 29, identified as 153201 (2000 WO107), is said to be as tall as the Burj Khalifa.

Also known as the Burj Dubai, Burj Khalifa is the tallest man-made structure in the world and stands at an astonishing height of 2,720 feet (829 m), according to The Measure of Things. 2000 WO107's diameter is an intimidating 2,690 feet (820 m).

For people residing in the state of New York, 2000 WO107 is expected to be about twice as tall a the Empire State Building (1,250 ft).

Set to make its close approach at 1:08 a.m. EDT next Sunday, the colossal asteroid will be zipping by early in the day at a speed of 15 miles per second (25.7 km/s), according to CNEOS' Data Table.

The Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower at a height of 828 metres (2,717 ft), is seen in Dubai February 5, 2012. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai Photo: REUTERS

Should an asteroid this huge end up entering the Earth's atmosphere and making an impact, the results would no doubt be catastrophic. Luckily, the massive NEA has not been included in the European Space Agency (ESA) Risk List. Albeit being truly threatening in size, the closest the NEA can get to Earth is about 2,672,000 miles (4,300,000 km) away from the planet's surface.

153201 (2000 WO107) was first discovered back on Nov. 29, 2000, in the Lincoln Laboratory ETS in New Mexico. Considered an Aten asteroid, this type of NEA has an Earth-crossing orbit, which means that its orbit intersects with that of the Earth at least once or two times. Atens also have semi-major axes that are smaller than the home planet.

Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are comets and asteroids that have been pushed by gravity to enter the Earth's neighborhood. Rocky asteroids mostly form within the warmer inner solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter while comets form in the outer, colder planetary system.