NASA has detected a massive asteroid that’s headed for Earth today. According to the space agency’s data, the approaching asteroid is almost as tall as the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The asteroid, dubbed by NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) as 441987 (2010 NY65), is currently traveling at a speed of 28,200 miles per hour. It has a diameter of 984 feet, making it significantly taller than the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge.

According to CNEOS, 441987 (2010 NY65) is expected to approach Earth on June 24 at 4:59 pm ST. During its approach, the massive space rock is expected to be within 0.01961 astronomical units or roughly 1.8 million miles away from the Earth’s center.

CNEOS first detected the asteroid on July 14, 2010. Using the information gathered from the asteroid’s trajectory, CNEOS was able to create a chart showing its close Earth approaches from 1900 to 2197.

Based on the data collected by the agency, it seems 441987 (2010 NY65) is almost consistent when it comes to visiting a planet’s vicinity. As indicated in CNEOS’ chart, the asteroid has been approaching Earth and Venus on almost a yearly basis.

According to NASA’s records, the asteroid reached its closest distance to Earth on June 24, 2018. During this time, the asteroid approached Earth within a distance of 0.01869 astronomical units or about 1.7 million miles.

The space agency’s projections indicated that 441987 (2010 NY65) will return to Earth’s neighborhood on June 24, 2020. Unlike its upcoming visit, the asteroid will be flying at a much farther distance next year. NASA predicted that the space rock will be about 0.02511 astronomical units or around 2.3 million miles away when passes by Earth in 2020.

Although Earth is relatively safe from an impact event caused by 441987 (2010 NY65) based on CNEOS’s data regarding the asteroid’s future approaches, there are certain factors in space that can still significantly alter its trajectory.

As indicated in previous scientific studies, colliding with another asteroid could nudge 441987 (2010 NY65) to a different path. In addition, it is also possible for 441987 (2010 NY65) to change its course if it gets affected by the gravitational pull of larger objects such as planets.

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