Don’t worry, 2020 will not be the year a massive asteroid will hit the Earth.
But astronomers will still have their eyes to the sky this weekend when asteroid 163348 (2002 NN4) will glide 3 million miles past Earth on Saturday. The asteroid is roughly the size of the stadium, with a diameter of 1,100 feet.
The asteroid will whiz by the earth at a distance of more than 10 times further than the orbit of the moon. The asteroid poses no threat to Earth, or any spacecrafts.
163348 is one of thousands of near-earth objects NASA tracks. The objects range from the size of automobiles to over a kilometer in diameter. The vast majority of these objects are smaller.
But even smaller objects can be damaging on a local level.
In 2013, a 60-meter-wide meteor entered the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia. The resulting airblast caused a number of injuries due to broken windows.