A massive asteroid could crash into the Earth in 2182, causing widespread devastation and possible extinction, scientists have warned.

The asteroid, 1999 RQ36, has a one-in-a-thousand chance of actually hitting the Earth, but half of that risk corresponds to a potential impact in the year 2182, claimed scientists from the Universidad de Valladolid in Spain.

The asteroid, about 1,800 feet in diameter, was discovered in 1999 and is currently behind the Sun. It could be observed only in the spring of 2011, the Daily Mail reported.

If the asteroid was not spotted until after 2080, it would be impossible to divert it from its target, they warned in a new research paper published in the science journal Icarus. The asteroid is part of the group of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids, which all have the possibility of hitting the Earth due to their orbit.

Keywords: asteroid1999 RQ36PHA