A lot is currently happening here on Earth, but that's not slowing down news from space. As if there wasn't enough to worry about these days, it appears a giant asteroid is zooming past our planet. However, you shouldn't really worry as it's "unlikely" the asteroid is coming for us. According to CBS News, the asteroid "the size of the Empire State Building" is being monitored by NASA and is expected to pass us on Saturday, June 6th.
“Asteroid 2002 NN4 is estimated to be 250-570 meters (820-1,870 feet) in diameter, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). New York City's iconic Empire State Building is more than 1,400 feet tall at its tip,” CBS News wrote. “The asteroid may seem daunting, but it will pass Earth at a safe distance, a representative for JPL told CBS News.”
You can learn more about the asteroid on NASA’s Center for Earth Object Studies. The website monitors things that are set to closely approach Earth. In fact, “several other objects are expected to fly through space near Earth this week." Close objects are considered anything within 4.6 million miles of our planet.
According to the report, scientists met last year to discuss how to respond to an asteroid that could potentially destroy a city. "All we have to do is change its speed a little faster or a little slower so that when it crosses Earth's orbit, it crosses either in front of us or behind us," Dr. Lori Glaze, director of planetary science at NASA, explained. "It doesn't really keep me up at night," she added.
While it doesn't seem like this asteroid is something to worry about, there have been some close encounters in the past. The article mentions an asteroid that hit Russia in 2013, which injured 1,600 people.
In addition to tracking asteroids, NASA also had a little bit of fun recently by celebrating Star Wars. NASA shared satellite images of the original filming locations in Tunisia. Specifically, the images point out where the scenes of Obi-Wan Kenobi's house were filmed in relation to scenes that took place in the Mos Eisley spaceport. While the original production went to great lengths to capture the otherworldly terrain of Tatooine, it was also able to make a more manageable trek from Los Angeles to Death Valley National Park in California to secure establishing shots of the valley in which Mos Eisley was set. You can learn more about the images here.