NASA: Hippo-shaped asteroid heading home for the holidays
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —
Do you want a hippopotamus for Christmas? You're in luck, according to NASA.
A mile-long, hippo-shaped asteroid, 2003 SD220, will "fly safely" past Earth on Saturday. At roughly 1.8 million miles away, Saturday will mark the asteroid's closest approach to Earth in 400 years. The asteroid will zoom by at an even closer distance in 2070.
Despite being a "potentially hazardous asteroid," it shouldn't pose a threat to Earth, NASA says.
Astronomers at the Lowell Observatory Near-Earth-Object Search (LONEOS) in Flagstaff, Arizona first discovered the asteroid on Sept. 29, 2003.