Get All Access for $5/mo

Potentially Hazardous Asteroid as Big as the Empire State Building Will Fly Uncomfortably Close to Earth. Today. Rain is the least of our worries.

By Entrepreneur Staff

Don't look up.

At approximately 6:55 p.m. EST today (Thursday), Asteroid 2013 BO76 will give Earth a too-close-for-comfort driveby. The chunk of rock, estimated to be roughly the size of the Empire State Building, will zip by our home planet at speeds close to 30,000 mph.

A direct hit would be catastrophic, but happily, the term "close" is all relative when discussing the expanses of space. 2013 BO76 will come within 3.1 million miles of our home, which is more than 13 times farther away than the moon, reports Newsweek. That might not sound super close, but it is enough to earn the PHA (Potentially Hazardous Asteroid) tag.

Related: Inside SpaceX: What It's Like Working for a Company on a Mission

What is a potentially hazardous asteroid?

The Center for Near Earth Object Studies defines a PHA as one that comes within around 4.6 million miles or closer to Earth and has a diameter of 140 meters or greater. Are there many out there? Short answer: Yes. The Jet Pulpusion Laboratory searches for and tracks near-Earth asteroids of all sizes, and, at last count, has 28,541 on its radar.

The Science Times explains that the next close call we can expect is from Asteroid 2005 ED224, which will be making an appearance in March 2023, zipping by at 61,000 miles per hour. This 164-foot asteroid is said to have a 1 in 400,000 chance of hitting Earth, according to CNEOS. (We'd prefer an extra zero or two tagged onto the end of those odds, to be honest.)

Related: NASA Launches Mission to Stop Killer Asteroid From Destroying Earth

What would happen if Earth gets hit by a huge asteroid?

Marshall Brain and Sarah Gleim, writing for How Stuff Works: Science, break down the effects by size:

  • An asteroid the size of a house would be equivalent to the bomb that dropped on Hiroshima, creating extensive damage to any city it hit.
  • An asteroid the size of a 20-story building would hit with the equivalent power of a modern nuclear weapon, completely flattening any city it hit.
  • An asteroid seven-to-eight-miles wide would kill almost everything and everyone on Earth. Beyond its immediate impact, it would send up a sun-blocking dust plume that would encapsulate our planet.
  • An asteroid 60 miles wide would be an Earth killer, instantly zapping any and all life forms.

Happy Thursday!

Entrepreneur Staff

Entrepreneur Staff


For more than 30 years, Entrepreneur has set the course for success for millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners. We'll teach you the secrets of the winners and give you exactly what you need to lay the groundwork for success.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

The Side Hustle He Started in His College Apartment Turned Into a $70,000-a-Month Income Stream — Then Earned Nearly $2 Million Last Year

Kyle Morrand and his college roommates loved playing retro video games — and the pastime would help launch his career.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Growing a Business

How to Determine The Ideal Length of Your Marketing Emails Your Customers Will Actually Read

Wondering how long your marketing emails should be? Here's what consumers say — so you can send them exactly what they like.

Business News

A Former Corporate Lawyer Now Makes Six Figures on YouTube — Here's How She Does It

Here are the secrets to starting and growing a successful YouTube channel, according to a YouTuber with millions of subscribers.

Business Culture

You'll Always Have Anxious Employees if You Don't Follow These 4 Leadership Tactics

Creating a thriving workplace environment hinges on the commitment of company leaders to nurture and inspire their teams.

Science & Technology

Why We Shouldn't Fear AI in Education (and How to Use It Effectively)

Facing resistance to new technologies in the educational process is nothing new, and AI is no exception. Yet, this powerful tool is set to overcome these challenges and revolutionize education, preparing students and professionals for a future of unparalleled efficiency and personalized learning.