“It will come interestingly close, closer than many man-made satellites,” Don Yeomans of NASA's Near Earth Object Program at JPL said in a video earlier this week.
The scientist added that the asteroid will come closer to earth than any man-made satellites have, but it won't actually hit earth. In fact, it will be 17,200 miles above the planet's surface. Its size will be half that of a football field -- not too large or small. Yeomans predicts that the asteroid making a close shave to the earth will probably be made of stone instead of ice or metal.
"This is a record-setting close approach," Yeomans said. "Since regular sky surveys began in the 1990s, we've never seen an object this big get so close to Earth."
Yeomans estimates that an asteroid like this occurs once every 40 years with one coming in contact with earth every 1,200 years. Even if this astroid hit the planet, it wouldn't be catastrophic over a wide area.
It's predicted that the asteroid will shave the earth around Feb. 15. The space agency is read to utilize the Goldstone radar in California's Mojave Desert to follow the asteroid from Feb. 16 to Feb. 20. Yeomans added that it's "going to be hard to track."