Astronomers say the dreaded “Planet Killer” asteroid, often fictionalized in movies, is a reality, and they have found it hurtling towards earth at thousands of miles per hour.

The asteroid is more than a kilometer and a half across, according to scientists, and could intersect the earth’s orbit sometime in the future, although scientists cannot say exactly how far in the future.

It was discovered hiding in the glare of the sun along with two other asteroids, making it almost impossible to see. It is the largest threat to the earth from space discovered in the last 8 years. The asteroid makes its orbit every 5 years, and has usually been on the opposite side of the sun from earth.

Astronomers say for now, the asteroid crosses the Earth’s orbit when we are on opposite sides of the sun but in a few million years, that could change… meaning there is no immediate concern but it bears watching.

-Tony Lee