NASA has detected a gigantic potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA) that’s currently headed for Earth. According to the agency’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the massive asteroid is taller than the Empire State Building.

The approaching asteroid has been dubbed by CNEOS as 2006 QQ23. According to the data compiled by the agency, the asteroid is currently traveling at a speed of 10,400 miles per hour and has an estimated diameter of around 1,870 feet.

CNEOS predicted that 2006 QQ23 will zip past Earth on Aug. 10 at approximately 7:23 am ST. During its approach, the asteroid will fly from a distance of 0.04977 astronomical units or roughly 4.6 million miles away from the planet’s center.

2006 QQ23 has been classified by CNEOS as an Aten asteroid due to its orbit. According to the agency, as the asteroid orbits the Sun, its path intersects with that of Earth. Due to the closeness of the 2006 QQ23’s intersection distance with Earth, CNEOS labeled the asteroid as potentially hazardous.

“Potentially hazardous asteroids are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to Earth,” CNEOS stated.

“Specifically, all asteroids with a minimum orbit intersection distance of 0.05 [astronomical units] or less and an absolute magnitude of 22.0 or less are considered PHAs,” the agency added.

2006 QQ23 was first observed on Aug. 21, 2006. After studying the asteroid’s orbit, CNEOS was able to determine that the massive space rock frequently visits the neighborhoods of Earth and Venus.

According to the agency, the asteroid’s first close-Earth approach happened on Jan. 13, 1901. During this time, the asteroid flew at a much farther distance compared to its upcoming approach at 0.40667 astronomical units or roughly 38 million miles away from the planet.

For its future approach, CNEOS predicted that the asteroid will fly past Earth again on Feb. 15, 2022. The agency noted that 2006 QQ23 will approach the planet from a distance of 0.40769 astronomical units or about 38 million miles on its next flyby. After passing through Earth’s vicinity, the asteroid will head towards Venus.

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