NASA is monitoring an asteroid that’s currently headed for Earth. Based on the size of the asteroid, it will most likely explode mid-air and create a huge fireball if it enters Earth’s atmosphere.

The approaching asteroid has been identified by NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) as 2019 QE1. According to the agency, this asteroid is currently traveling at a speed of 14,800 miles per hour. It is estimated to be about 184 feet long, making it almost as tall as the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.

CNEOS predicted that 2019 QE1 will enter Earth’s neighborhood on Sept. 5 at 5:39 pm EDT. During its approach, the asteroid will be about 0.03311 astronomical units or roughly 3 million miles from the planet’s center.

2019 QE1 has been classified by CNEOS as an Apollo asteroid. This means the asteroid has a very wide orbit that goes around the Sun and Earth. From time to time, the asteroid’s orbit intersects with that of Earth as it goes around the Sun.

2019 QE1 was first observed on Aug. 22. According to CNEOS, the asteroid’s next near-Earth approach will happen on Aug. 14, 2105. During this time, the asteroid is expected to approach Earth from a distance of 0.21410 astronomical units or about 20 million miles away.

Due to the asteroid’s small size, it will most likely not reach the surface if it breaches Earth’s atmosphere. Instead, it will probably explode mid-air due to the atmospheric friction.

However, this does not automatically mean that 2019 QE1 is not dangerous and will not cause significant damage.  After all, it is three times larger than the asteroid that exploded over a populated region in Russia in 2013.

This asteroid, which was only about 66 feet long, exploded at about 18.5 miles from the ground and produced energy that’s over 30 times more powerful than the atomic bomb used on Hiroshima, Japan in World War II. Although much of the energy from the explosion was absorbed by the atmosphere, the catastrophic event still left significant damage to property.

NASA Asteroid family Mars and Jupiter This artist concept catastrophic collisions between asteroids located in the belt between Mars and Jupiter and how they have formed families of objects on similar orbits around the sun. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech