The asteroid, dubbed by NASA Asteroid 2019 DD, is barreling towards a so-called “Earth Close Approach”. The news comes just two days after NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) first observed the asteroid flying through space. NASA’s JPL estimates Asteroid DD is positioned to fly past the Earth at breakneck speeds on Friday, March 1. As the asteroid zips by, it will reach its closest possible distance to Earth around 1.06pm GMT (UTC).
The JPL further estimates Asteroid DD will make its incredible approach at speeds of more than 23,190mph or 10.37km per second.
Thankfully, NASA does not expect the space rock to fly directly into the Earth tomorrow.
Instead, the asteroid will make a close approach typical of so-called “Near-Earth Objects” (NEOs).
As asteroids and comets orbit the Sun, they often cross paths with the Earth’s trajectory through the system.
READ MORE: How often do asteroids hit the Earth?
Occasionally, these objects will come very close to Earth, enough to warrant interest from the world’s asteroid trackers.
NASA explained: “As they orbit the Sun, Near-Earth Objects can occasionally approach close to Earth.
“Note that a ‘close’ passage astronomically can be very far away in human terms: millions or even tens of millions of kilometres.”
At its closest, NASA’s JPL estimates Asteroid DD will approach Earth from a distance of 0.01909 astronomical units (au).
Just one astronomical unit measures around 93 million miles (149.6 million km) and is the average distance from the Sun to the Earth.
Tomorrow, Asteroid DD is expected to trim this distance down to just 1.77 million miles (2.85 million km).
In other words, this is the equivalent of 7.43 Lunar Distances (LD) or 7.43 times the space between the Earth and the Moon.
Asteroid DD is an Apollo-type space rock, meaning it has an orbit which crosses Earth’s trajectory similarly to that of Asteroid 1862 Apollo.
NASA’s JPL estimates DD measures somewhere in the range of 32.8ft to 75.5ft (10m to 23m) in diameter.
At the upper end of the scale, the asteroid is 11 times longer than a Queen Size bed.
Towards the lower limit of the estimate, the asteroid is just about the length of a London double-decker bus.
After tomorrow’s flyby, NASA predicts Asteroid DD will approach Earth four more times between October 14, 2019, and August 18, 2102.