The 2002AJ129 asteroid has been classified as a "potentially hazardous" asteroid that will buzz past the Earth (hopefully) on February 4th, honking along at a mere 67,000 mph. That's faster than a speeding bullet and about 15 times faster than our fastest manned aircraft.
This asteroid is huge. It's larger than Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building in Dubai. In Islam, Khalifa means "deputy" "successor," or "steward" and most commonly refers to the leader of a Caliphate such as Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the religious leader of ISIS.
The asteroid is around 0.7 miles wide (1.1 km) and will pass by Earth at a distance of about 2, 615,128 miles and 15 inches (if calculations are correct) which is considered close in astrophysical terms.
NASA describes any asteroid as being "hazardous" if it comes within 4,600,000 miles from our planet.
If somehow it hits Earth, the rock would plunge us into a mini-ice age which would destroy the global warming theories and possibly cause Al Gore to commit suicide. The impact alone would cause world temperatures to fall by as much as 8 degrees C, and would likely last several years. The world would become a colder and drier place, unless it hits a Middle East country other than Israel, in which case the world would become more modern on average.
In the worst case scenario, soot would remain in the atmosphere for about 10 years, but NASA does not believe this asteroid will hit the Earth.
In order to prevent an asteroid from colliding with Earth, the velocity of the rock must be reduced by less than an inch per second years in advance of the impact.
NASA is currently working on building a small spacecraft (about the size of NFL player William Perry, aka "The Refrigerator") capable of preventing asteroids from hitting our planet. A test of this system is planned for 20204 with a non-threatening asteroid. Let's just hope NASA doesn't rub it the wrong way and make it a threatening asteroid.
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) would use what's known as a kinetic impactor technique, as it strikes the asteroid to shift its orbit.
"As of December 24, there are 17,495 known Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) around our planet; 17,389 are asteroids," according to NASA.
In February 2013, a 62 foot meteor exploded over the skies of Chelyabinsk, Russia. The energy was equivalent to about 500,000 tons of TNT and the meteor injured more than 1,000 people.