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Eiffel Tower-sized asteroid will break into Earth’s orbit in a week, NASA says

On Dec. 11, this asteroid is expected to make its way toward Earth

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, spacecraft onboard, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
Michael Peterson, U.S. Space Force via Associated Press

An asteroid the size of the Eiffel Tower is headed toward Earth on Dec. 11, per Forbes. This asteroid is “potentially hazardous” due to its size and proximity to Earth.

  • The asteroid, called 4660 Nereus, originally discovered in 1982, is about 390 feet long and shaped like an egg.
  • It will come within 2.5 million miles of Earth, which is 10 times farther away than the moon is.
  • Though this distance may seem vast, it isn’t by cosmic standards. Per the report, if the Nereus was closer to Earth, it could do some serious damage.
  • According to The Hill, this is the closest this asteroid has been to Earth in a 20-year period.

Per Forbes, there have been several missions in the past targeting this asteroid because of its egg shape, size and its orbital path around the sun, making it an ideal asteroid to visit.

  • The Nereus may also contain nickel, iron and cobalt worth billions, which makes it a great asteroid to mine. Per The Hill, asteroid mining gained popularity in the early 2010s and now big players, like Blue Origin and SpaceX, have shown an interest in the field.
  • This asteroid is worth $4.71 billion, according to Asterank, a database that monitors more than 600,000 asteroids.