Because of this potential danger and the asteroid’s close approach to our planet, NASA has characterised it as both a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) and Near-Earth Object (NEO).
The asteroid report reads: “Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are asteroids and comets that come close to or pass across Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
“They range in size from small ‘meteoroids’ only a few meters across, to much larger bodies several kilometres wide.
“When NEO orbits bring them into Earth’s atmosphere, smaller objects harmlessly fragment and disintegrate, while larger objects can cause local damage or even global devastation.”
The report added: “Objects close to and larger than one kilometre can cause damage on a global scale.”