Asteroid 2020 OR4 will loop by Earth, grazing our galactic neck of the woods at just 457,000 kilometres from our planet, only slightly further than the distance between us and the Moon (384,399km) – according to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). At 26 metres long, the asteroid is about the size of a commercial aeroplane.
The giant space rock will zoom by our planet on July 28, travelling at a staggering 23 kilometres per second – or 82,000 kilometres per hour.
To put that into perspective, it could travel around Earth more than twice in an hour.
However, there is no risk the asteroid will hit Earth or cause any danger to our planet.
Even in the extremely minute chance it would hit Earth, at 26 metres it would not pose a significant threat, causing a similar explosion to the Chelyabinsk incident.
In 2013, a 20-metre meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, smashing windows and caused injuries to more than 1,000 people.
According to NASA, it is a NEO, giving NASA the perfect opportunity to study the history of the solar system.
NASA set on its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) website: “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 neighbourhood.
“The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is due largely to their status as the relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process some 4.6 billion years ago.
NASA is currently studying Asteroid Bennu, where its OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft arrived last year.
Part of the reason NASA is sending the OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft there is to gather more information about the space rock which is 500 metres in length.
NASA fears the asteroid, which has the potential to wipe out a country on Earth, could hit our planet within the next 120 years, with the next close flyby in 2135.