NASA has detected a massive asteroid that’s currently headed for Earth. According to the agency’s Center for Near Earth Objects (CNEOS), the approaching asteroid is about as big as a football field.

CNEOS has identified the incoming asteroid as 2016 PD1. As indicated in the agency’s database, this asteroid is currently traveling at a speed of 13,130 miles per hour. It is estimated to be about 361 feet long. Given its size, the asteroid is capable of creating a crater with a diameter of about a mile if it collides with Earth.

2016 PD1 is expected to fly past Earth on Aug. 26 at 4:35 am EDT. During its approach, the asteroid will be about 0.02898 astronomical units or roughly 2.7 million miles from the planet’s center.

According to CNEOS, 2016 PD1 is an Amor asteroid. This means that the asteroid has a very wide orbit that goes around the Sun and Earth. Due to the asteroid’s close approaches to the planet, it has been classified by the agency as a near-Earth object (NEO).

CNEOS noted that NEOs are various space rocks that fly near Earth due to the gravitational pull from other cosmic objects.

“Near-Earth objects 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.

2016 PD1 was first observed on Aug. 2, 2016. According to CNEOS’ records of the asteroid’s history, 2016 PD1 is known to frequently visit Earth’s neighborhood. It also occasionally approaches Mars.

The last time the asteroid approached Earth was on Sept. 7, 2016. During this time, it flew past the planet from a distance of 0.05961 astronomical units or roughly 5.5 million miles away.

CNEOS predicts that 2016 PD1 will return to Earth’s vicinity on Aug. 12, 2022. The asteroid is expected to be about 0.14760 astronomical units or around 14 million miles from the planet during its future flyby.

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