This rock is forecast to pass within 2.8 million miles—a tiny distance in astronomical terms—of Earth, according to NASA's Near Earth Object Program.
The object was first spotted by the Catalina Sky Survey at the end of last year. Astronomers are expected to be monitoring the asteroid's progress.
It is not unusual for small meteorites to pass close by. However one of this size is a very rare occurrence. Experts warn it is only a matter of time before an asteroid capable of "life-altering" damage collides with our planet.
Smaller impacts would be capable of destroying cities.
As to what to do to protect yourself—nothing. Pray. Secreting yourself in the bathroom will have no effect if the asteroid hits earth. Of course it would be a good idea to patch up quarrels, make peace with your family, and tell your life partner how much you love them—impact or not.
The possibility of a strike makes wonderful material for the imagination. The dystopian series of novels my partner Edith Parzefall and I wrote, takes place hundreds of years after after an asteroid hit Earth.
Click on any one of the titles to visit an Amazon store near you.