The Super Bowl is an event that brings together people from across the globe. This year's edition will be different than any other, though. It isn't because of the teams [VIDEO] playing in the Football game, or the location of the game, although those each carry an element of intrigue. Instead, it has something to do with a facet nobody on Earth can control. We'll all be helplessly looking to the sky just hours before the game, hoping an asteroid doesn't take a wrong turn and crush our planet.

Look out, planet Earth

NASA - fresh off an unscheduled break over the weekend - released a statement about an asteroid ready to make its way into the planet's orbit on Super Bowl Sunday.

The medium-sized asteroid has the cryptic moniker "2002 AJ129." NASA is taking the step of calling it a "potentially hazardous asteroid," so everyone needs to beware. The asteroid isn't actually expected to hit Earth, though, or even come particularly close. It should stay over two and a half million miles away.

The Super Bowl is expected to kickoff around 6:30 p.m. ET on February 4. The asteroid is expected to pass Earth around 4:30 PM, during the pregame festivities.

If the asteroid comes much, much closer than anticipated, the fans at the game won't even be able to see it. U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota has a fixed roof, so no view of the asteroid would be provided if it comes hurtling towards the big game, looking to impact as many people as possible at one time.

Super Bowl safety

While there is no known protection should an asteroid hit earth, the people attending the Super Bowl may be the safest people on Earth. Each year, heavy security measures are put in place for the event, varying based on the location and circumstances surrounding the venue. This year, the National Guard's presence has already been requested. Apps have been developed to help police and security. There's even a competition being held to present safety plans, although those wouldn't be implemented for this iteration.

But picture this: Justin Timberlake doing a soundcheck in the hours ahead of his halftime show, when sirens suddenly start blazing. Everyone runs out of the stadium and looks to the skies as an asteroid soars past Earth's atmosphere. Timberlake uses this as motivation to perform "We Are the World" during the Super Bowl, uniting the globe like never before.

That seems like a scenario worth dreaming about for the next week and a half.