The asteroid will brush past our planet within the orbit of the Moon coming as close as the orbit of many satellites. It should be visible through binoculars from parts of Europe, Asia and most of the Southern Hemisphere as a faint star-like object moving slowly across the sky. The asteroid was spotted on Monday during an automated survey by a pair of NASA telescopes.
Similar-sized objects are believed to pass close to the Earth every two years or so but aren't normally detected in advance. NASA says there's no danger of this asteroid hitting the planet. And even if it did, at 30 metres across, it would probably break up in the atmosphere and only small pieces would reach the ground.
It's a reminder, nevertheless, of the risks of near-Earth objects -- there are believed to be more than a thousand asteroids with the potential to collide with the planet at some point in the future.