Large asteroid to make close pass to Earth next week

A sizable asteroid is going to make a close pass to Earth next week, scientists say, but there’s no need to panic.

The asteroid known as 4660 Nereus will come as close as 2.5 million miles to Earth – a relatively short distance given the vastness of space. Still, that’s about 10 times as far away as the Moon.

NASA scientists say anything that comes as close as 1.3 times the distance from Earth to the Sun (roughly 93 million miles) is considered a Near-Earth Object.

The oval asteroid is just over 1,000 feet wide, or about the height of the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles.

It was first discovered in 1982 and is expected to make its closest approach in 2060, when its orbit will bring it about 745,000 miles away from Earth.

The asteroid is rich in minerals and metals and if it were possible to be mined, it would command billions of dollars for its deposits of nickel, iron and cobalt, Forbes reports.

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