(CBS News) -- “The Beast” is coming! That’s the nickname astronomers have given to an asteroid that will nearly sideswipe Earth this Sunday, reports Space.com.
Near-Earth asteroid 2014 HQ124 will be a mere 777,000 miles at its closest approach to our planet, that’s just over 3 times the distance from the Earth to the moon; a close shave by cosmic standards.
Observers assure us that there is no chance of a collision, but the do say this fly-by illustrates the danger of a meteor strike.
2014 HQ124 is 1,100 feet wide and is travelling about 31,000 mph, relative to Earth. If it was on a collision course, the planet’s gravity would actually increase its speed to about 40,000 mph at impact.