A massive asteroid that’s currently traveling towards Earth has been detected by NASA. According to the space agency’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the approaching asteroid is bigger than the Big Ben clock tower in London.

The asteroid has been identified by CNEOS as 2019 OJ3. Based on the data gathered by the agency on the asteroid, 2019 OJ3 is currently traveling at a speed of 36,200 miles per hour. It has an estimated diameter of 328 feet, making it significantly taller than the Statue of Liberty.

According to CNEOS, 2019 OJ3 will fly past Earth on Aug. 2 at 5:55 pm EDT. During its approach, the asteroid will fly from a distance of 0.02915 astronomical units or roughly 2.7 million miles from Earth’s center.

CNEOS classified 2019 OJ3 as an Apollo asteroid. Like other Apollo asteroids, 2019 OJ3 has a wide orbit around the Sun and Earth. From time to time, the trajectory path of Apollo asteroids intersects with the orbit of Earth as the planet completes its cycle around the Sun.

Like the other asteroids that occasionally approach Earth, 2019 OJ3 has been labeled by CNEOS as a Near-Earth Object (NEO). According to the agency, NEOs are asteroids or meteors that have been affected by the gravitational pull of nearby large cosmic objects such as planets. Due to the gravitational forces, these space rocks have been nudged into a trajectory path that passes near Earth.

2019 OJ3 was first observed on July 29. After analyzing the asteroid’s trajectory, CNEOS noted that 2019 OJ3 first approached Earth on July 12, 1929. During this time, the asteroid zipped past the planet from a distance of 0.46198 astronomical units or about 43 million miles away.

Aside from Earth, 2019 OJ3 is also known to enter the neighborhoods of Mars and Venus.

So far, 2019 OJ3’s upcoming flyby will be its closest near-Earth approach. The next time the asteroid will zip past the planet at a very close distance will be on Aug. 3, 2075. CNEOS estimated that the asteroid will approach Earth from a distance of 0.02646 astronomical units or around 2.5 million miles away during its future visit.

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