|Satellite image of asteroid/Reuters|
The sizable chunk of space rock measures approximately 1,312 feet in diameter-about the size of an aircraft carrier- and has been having close encounters with our planet for perhaps thousands of years, experts said. Gravitational tugs from the other planets in our solar system are continually altering its course as it makes its orbit through the vastness of deep space.
The asteroid is one of several that have been discovered recently that will have close encounters with our planet. NASA's Near Earth Object program has mapped out the trajectories of thousands of similar objects in an effort to better alert the population if and when a dangerous impact from a similar object should occur in the future.