Potentially Hazardous Asteroid To Fly By Earth On Sunday

Dan Evon

An asteroid the size of a city-block will by flying by the earth on Sunday.

Asteroid 2002 AM31 is listed as “potentially hazardous,” but the earth isn’t in any danger this weekend. According to MSNBC, the asteroid will pass well beyond the orbit of the moon, about 3.2 million miles away from earth.

Space.com reports that Asteroid 2002 AM31 poses no threat to the earth this weekend but is listed as “potentially hazardous” because it may pose a threat sometime in the future.

The asteroid is estimated to be about 1,000 to 3,000 feet wide and will pass by earth on Sunday evening. The flyby will be broadcast live on Slooh.com.

Slooh Space Camera president Patrick Paolucci said:

“Near-Earth asteroid 153958 (2002 AM31) represents one of approximately 9,000 whizzing past Earth at any given moment and we wanted to highlight this one as it’s only 13.7 lunar distances from Earth and well over one city block big — similar to near-Earth asteroid LZ1 which zoomed past us unexpectedly mid-June.”

Slooh’s live-broadcast of the asteroid will feature two views. One from the Prescott Observatory in Arizona and another from the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. The fly by will be narrated by Astronomy Magazine’s Bob Berman, Slooh’s Paul Cox, and Matt Francis of the Prescott Observatory.

You can watch the asteroid flyby at 7:30 p.m. ET and 11 p.m. ET on Sunday night at Slooh.com.

Wired reports that Asteroid 2002 AM31 was discovered 10 years ago by Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR).