Aw, an asteroid is planning to drop by Earth this Christmas Eve, just like your third cousin who comes over and steals all the frosted Santa cookies before they’re finished. But, unlike your cousin, this asteroid will cause you no emotional harm.
Scientists say Asteroid 2003 SD220 will pass 6.8 million miles from Earth. Fortunately, that’s very far from our planet—the moon is much closer, at 240,000 miles. Do note that in 2018, the same asteroid will fly closer to Earth, at roughly 1.7 million miles. Interesting.
Nothing to worry about for now. According to Mashable:
NASA scientists have carefully tracked the asteroid, and don’t worry, it won’t come anywhere near impacting the planet, but it may be a help for researchers hoping to study the rock in the future.
The manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, Paul Chodas, also says don’t worry about it: “There is no cause for concern over the upcoming flyby of asteroid 2003 SD220 this Christmas Eve.”
While it won’t be annihilating our planet anytime soon, allegedly, Asteroid 2003 SD220 will serve an important purpose for researchers. “The data acquired during this pass of the asteroid will help us plan for radar imaging during its upcoming closer approach in 2018,” says NASA researcher Lance Benner.
Don’t worry about it. Eat your cookies.
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Image via NASA