NASA’s asteroid-tracking agency has detected a massive space rock that’s currently headed for Earth. According to the Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the approaching asteroid is bigger than the Statue of Liberty.

CNEOS has identified the asteroid as 2019 PJ. According to the agency, this asteroid is currently traveling at a speed of 32,000 miles per hour and has an estimated diameter of about 328 feet. At this length, the asteroid is significantly bigger than the Big Ben clock tower in London.

2019 PJ is expected to visit Earth’s vicinity on Aug. 15 at 8:19 pm EDT. During its approach, the asteroid will only be about 0.02245 astronomical units or roughly 2 million miles from the Earth’s center.

Like other asteroids that frequently enter Earth’s neighborhood, 2019 PJ is classified as a near-Earth object (NEO). According to CNEOS, NEOs approach Earth because they were affected by the gravitational forces in space.

“NEOs are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighborhood,” CNEOS stated.

“Composed mostly of water ice with embedded dust particles, comets originally formed in the cold outer planetary system while most of the rocky asteroids formed in the warmer inner solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter,” the agency added.

According to CNEOS, 2019 PJ is an Apollo asteroid. It has a very wide orbit 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 PJ was first discovered on Aug. 5. As indicated in CNEOS’ database, the asteroid’s first recorded visit to Earth’s neighborhood happened on July 22, 2017. During this time, the asteroid approached the planet from a distance of 0.43881 astronomical units or around 41 million miles.

After this week’s visit, 2019 PJ is not expected to return to Earth’s vicinity until Aug. 9, 2036. The asteroid is expected to be about 0.0669 astronomical units or roughly 2.5 million miles from the Earth’s center during its future flyby.

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