An asteroid over 1,000 feet will pass by Earth this weekend, and while it’s not expected hit our planet, it is estimated to be worth nearly $5 billion.
The asteroid 4660 Nereus, discovered in 1982, is classified as a “potential hazardous asteroid” by NASA due to its size how close it approaches Earth. At an approximate 1,083 feet, it is 20 feet taller than the Eiffel Tower. There are less than 10,000 near-Earth objects the same size or bigger than 4660 Nereus, according to NASA.
The asteroid, which EarthSky reports travels through space at around 14,719 mph , orbits the sun every 664 days, and about once every decade, it gets relatively close to Earth. However, the asteroid will come the closest it’s ever been to Earth since it’s discovery.
On Saturday, the asteroid will be around 2.4 million miles away from Earth, the closest it is projected to be until 2060, when it will be only 744,576 miles away from our planet, according to NASA.
Some people might wish it got a little closer.
Asterank, a database that monitors more than 600,000 asteroids, says 4660 Nereus is valued around $4.71 billion. It’s value is so high because it’s packed full of nickel, iron and cobalt. For reference, only three sports franchises – the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees and New York Knicks – are valued to be more than the asteroid, according to Forbes.
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While that may seem like a whole bunch of money to pocket, there are actually asteroids worth a lot more than 4660 Nereus. In Oct. 2020, a group of researchers said the asteroid 16 Psyche was estimated to be worth $10,000 quadrillion – that’s 15 more zeroes – worth more than the entire economy of Earth.
4660 Nereus is going to be one of several asteroids to zoom past Earth in the coming weeks. The asteroid 1994 PC1, estimated to be at least 3,600 feet and bigger than any building in the world, will come within 1.2 million miles of Earth on Jan. 18.
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