NASA has released grainy radar images of an christmas eve asteroid flying close to earth.
Despite dire warnings circulating on social media, NASA says a 3,600-foot-long asteroid passing by Earth on Christmas Eve will not strike the planet – and therefore will not snuff out all life on Earth.
The asteroid, named 2003 SD220, will fly by at a distance of about 6.8 million miles.
“There is no cause for concern over the upcoming flyby of asteroid 2003 SD220 this Christmas Eve,” said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Center for NEO Studies at JPL. “The closest this object will come to Santa and his eight tiny reindeer is about 28 times the distance between Earth and the moon.”
The asteroid’s flyby is a boon for astronomers, though, who can use radar information gathered this week to prepare for its next visit in 2018, when it will be a mere 1.8 million miles away.
NASA said the asteroid isn’t expected to destroy the Earth in 2018 either.