• NASA spotted an asteroid currently headed for Earth
  • 2020 FK3 follows a natural Earth-crossing orbit

NASA is currently monitoring a building-sized asteroid that’s expected to approach Earth tomorrow.

NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) identified the approaching asteroid as 2020 FK3. According to CNEOS, this asteroid has an estimated diameter of about 151 feet, making it almost as big as the Chicago Water Tower.

Based on the data collected by CNEOS, 2020 FK3 is currently moving across space toward Earth at an average speed of almost 22,000 miles per hour.

2020 FK3 is officially classified as an Apollo asteroid. According to NASA, this near-Earth object follows an elongated path that extends beyond Mars’ orbit. From time to time, the asteroid intersects Earth’s path as the planet completes its cycle around the Sun.

The asteroid’s Earth-crossing orbit means should its trajectory change, it may hit Earth. This could happen if certain factors in space nudge the asteroid off its current path.

One of these factors is a keyhole, which is a region in space that’s heavily affected by the gravitational pull of a large object such as a planet. If 2020 FK3 passes through a gravitational keyhole, its orbit could slightly change.

A collision between Earth and 2020 FK3 will most likely not result in an impact event on the ground. Instead, the asteroid will probably burn up and explode in the atmosphere upon hitting Earth.

Fortunately, CNEOS noted that 2020 FK3 is not in danger of colliding with Earth during its upcoming approach. According to the agency, the asteroid is expected to fly past Earth on April 3 at 3:58 a.m. EDT. During this time, the asteroid will zip past the planet from a distance of 0.02671 astronomical units or around 2.5 million miles away.

Pictured; an artistic illustration of an asteroid flying by Earth. NASA