The asteroid, dubbed by NASA 2006 QV89, was first found hurtling past Earth 13 years ago. Even back then, NASA confidently estimated the rock would visit Earth again in September 2019. But a lack of concrete observations meant there was some uncertainty over how close the asteroid would approach our planet. The uncertainty led NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) to consider a small probability of impact this year.
Asteroid QV 89 measures somewhere in the range of 75.4ft to 170.6ft (23m to 52m) in diameter.
The space rock is also flying through the solar system at breakneck speeds of around 4.13km per second or 9,238mph (14,868kph).
Because of this, the asteroid was too faint and too far away to calculate its trajectory.
Thankfully, a recent analysis of the asteroid’s orbital flight has ruled out a deadly collision this month.
NASA said: “The Center for Near-Earth Object Studies has determined with new analysis by its Sentry impact monitoring system that a small asteroid whose uncertain position was of concern will pass by Earth at a very safe distance in September.
“The new analysis of the asteroid, called 2006 QV89, was made possible by key telescopic observations made in early July, and then again the weekend of August 10 to 11, by Dr Dave Tholen of the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy.
“After being too distant and too faint to be detectable for over 13 years, Tholen picked the asteroid up using a wide-field camera on the 3.6-meter Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) on Mauna Kea.”
Asteroid QV89 will appear close to Earth on the morning of Friday, September 27.
NASA predicts the asteroid will be closest to our planet around 4.54am BST (3.54am UTC).
When the space rock appears, it will make a so-called Earth Close Approach.
Asteroid QV89 will approach our planet from a distance of roughly 0.04631 astronomical units.
A single astronomical unit measures around 93 million miles (149.6 million km), which is the distance from Earth to the Sun.
In other words, the asteroid will approach from a distance equals to 18 times as far as the Moon is from Earth.
The asteroid was removed from NASA’s danger list on July 18 when its position in the sky ruled out a risk of impact.
Asteroids and comets like QV89 often cross paths with Earth’s orbit of the Sun.
NASA refers to these rocky objects as NEOs or Near-Earth Objects.
Asteroid QV89 is an Apollo-type space rock that orbits the Sun along a trajectory similar to Asteroid 1862 Apollo.