Even though there seems to be no shortage of massive rocks gliding through space in the vicinity of our planet, one such asteroid, 1990 MU, is expected to "come perilously close to Earth" in less than a decade, the Daily Express reports.
As the newspaper points out, the asteroid is between four and nine kilometres in diameter, which effectively "puts it in the same ball-park as the space rock which put an end to the dinosaurs," and it is expected to come within 0.03 astronomical units (roughly 4.48 million kilometres) distance of Earth on 6 June, 2027.
This development led NASA to label 1990 MU as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA), thereby recognising its "potential to make threateningly close approaches to the Earth."
Earlier, astronomers revealed that another huge space rock, 2019 OU1, which was rumoured to be the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza, turned out to be much smaller and will fly by within a safe distance from our planet, despite being deemed a potential hazard.
However, NASA Planetary Defense Officer Lindley Johnson pointed out earlier that only an asteroid on a direct collision course with Earth would pose a real threat, and that there are plenty of asteroids passing in the vicinity of our planet virtually all the time.