I gigantic asteroid passes by planet earth

On February 4th, a gigantic asteroid which is larger than  the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world)  will come whizzing by Earth at hypersonic speeds (67,000 miles per hour, which is 15 times faster than the world's fastest manned aircraft).

Dubbed the "2002 AJ129" by NASA, the asteroid has recently been given a "potentially hazardous" classification. NASA describes asteroids as 'hazardous' if they come within 4,600,000 miles the planet.

It is currently the largest space rock to pass our planet this year and could plunge Earth into a mini-ice age if it hit us.

the burj khalifia skyscraper in dubai the tallest building in the world

Above: The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building on the planet.

Also Check: Base Jumping off the Burj Khalifa

According to NASA there are 17,495 known Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) around our planet, and 17,389 of them are asteroids.

Nasa is currently developing a  small refrigerator-sized spacecraft capable of preventing asteroids from colliding with Earth. An effectiveness test with a non-threatening asteroid is scheduled for 2024.

This will be the first-ever mission to demonstrate an asteroid deflection technique for planetary defence. 

a screenshot of the classic video game asteroids

Pictured: NASA's proposed planetary defense system

If you're not sure what to expect in the unlikely event of a giant meteor  colliding with our planet, check out this CGI simulation: