NASA and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) asteroid impact monitoring system has detected a space rock that has a chance of hitting Earth within the next couple of years. According to NASA, it has recorded almost 30 potential Earth impacts from the approaching asteroid.

The approaching asteroid has been identified as 2008 JL3. It is currently part of a list maintained by NASA’s Sentry, which is the agency’s automated impact monitoring system.

Similarly, the ESA is also closely monitoring 2008 JL3 and has included it in its Risk List. Like NASA’s Sentry, the ESA’s Risk List keeps a catalog of near-Earth objects that have non-zero impact probabilities.

According to the space agencies, 2008 JL3 is an Apollo asteroid. This means that from time to time, the asteroid crosses the path of Earth as it travels around the Sun. Based on their observations, the ESA and NASA believe that the asteroid is in danger of hitting Earth during its near-intersections with the planet.

As indicated in NASA’s Sentry database, 2008 JL3 has a chance of colliding with Earth during one of its visits between 2027 and 2119. During this period, the monitoring system calculated a total of 27 potential Earth impacts caused by the asteroid.

Both the ESA and NASA noted that the asteroid’s first potential Earth impact might take place on May 1, 2027. The agencies stated that 2008 JL3’s chances of hitting Earth on this date are about one out of 12,000.

According to the agencies, the asteroid could collide with Earth at a speed of over 31,000 miles per hour. However, since the asteroid is only around 98 feet wide, there’s a strong chance that it won’t reach the ground. Instead, the asteroid will most likely burn up in the atmosphere and explode mid-air.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that 2008 JL3 is completely harmless. After all, it’s bigger than the asteroid that exploded over Russia in 2013. During that time, an asteroid that was about 66 feet wide detonated over a region known as Chelyabinsk Oblast.

The energy from the explosion was equivalent to about 30 atomic bombs. Although much of the energy was absorbed by the atmosphere, it was still powerful enough to damage about 7,000 buildings on the ground.