An enormous asteroid that could strike the Earth in 2028 is making its first pass near the planet this week, and doomsayers are using it as proof we need to build a planetary defense system.
The potentially killer space rock measures about a mile in diameter and will pass safely outside the moon's orbit this week, but it's scheduled to return again sometime in 2028 when it will be much closer to Earth.
Dubbed 1997 XF11, the meandering asteroid will pass close to 27 million miles from Earth this week, along with several other space rocks scheduled to come near the planet. Next time, however, its orbit will be much more erratic, making it more likely to strike the planet and cause an extinction level event.
"There are many, but few reach the ground, however we must be prepared for a big one, because they are fatal and would finish a city."
"The sky was lit up as if lightning had struck and a few seconds later we saw an orange object like a rocket."
"The trajectory of big asteroids can be seen and monitored, the problem is the small ones that we cannot see."