An enormous asteroid is set to zip past our planet this evening, NASA has revealed.
The asteroid, dubbed 2020 AO1, is estimated to be around 49 to 100 metres in diameter. At the higher end of that estimate, that suggests the space rock could be roughly the same size as The Great Pyramid of Giza!
According to NASA’s estimates, 2020 AO1 will skim past Earth at around 19:18 GMT, at which point it will be travelling at a staggering speed of almost 40,000mph.
Thankfully the asteroid will be around two million miles from Earth during the passing. While this might sound far, it’s classed as a ‘close approach’ by NASA.
2020 AO1 isn’t the only asteroid passing our planet today – a second space rock is set to make a close approach at around 22:37 GMT.
Measuring up to 24 metres in diameter, this space rock is much smaller, although it will pass Earth at a closer distance of just over 900,000 miles.
Thankfully, the chances of these asteroids colliding with Earth are slim to none.
However, NASA hasn’t written off the chances of an asteroid collision in the near future.
NASA discovers around 30 new ‘near-Earth objects’ (NEOs) every week, and at the start of 2019 had discovered a total of more than 19,000 objects.
However, the space agency has warned its NEO catalogue isn’t complete, meaning an unpredicted impact could occur at ‘any time.’
NASA explained: “Experts estimate that an impact of an object the size of the one that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013 – approximately 55 feet (17 meters) in size – takes place once or twice a century.
“Impacts of larger objects are expected to be far less frequent (on the scale of centuries to millennia).
“However, given the current incompleteness of the NEO catalogue, an unpredicted impact – such as the Chelyabinsk event – could occur at any time.”
- 30-metre asteroid skimming past Earth in October will test Nasa's doomsday 'planetary defence system'
- Asteroid the size of Great Pyramid of Giza will skim past Earth today, NASA warns
- Huge 500ft asteroid to skim past Earth at 38,000mph on MONDAY, Nasa reveals
- Huge Asteroid Capable of 'Continental-Scale Devastation' on Track to Zoom Past Earth
- Buckle up! Humongous Asteroid Will Swoosh Past Earth 25 Times Faster Than a Fighter Jet
- Nasa to let TOURISTS visit the International Space Station from 2020 – but each trip will cost you £39million
- Nasa finds astronaut blood moving BACKWARDS on ISS – and bizarre phenomenon could be deadly
- NASA and European Space Agency team up on mission to stop killer asteroid hitting Earth
- Relax! The world will NOT end next month: Nasa denies rumours of a massive asteroid impact bringing worldwide destruction
- Giant golden asteroid contains enough heavy metals to make everyone on Earth a billionaire – and Nasa is heading there in 2022
- Nasa reveals stunning photo of ISS passing in front of rare ‘spotless sun’ – but not all is as it seems
- NASA's Juno spacecraft enters Jupiter's orbit
- To infinity and beyond: Trump has big plans for Nasa – but is it just a fantasy?
- American 'space pioneers' deserve asteroid rights, Congress says
- Moon's interior may contain water, Brown University scientists say
- Bronze Age regicide? German forensics team say prince of Helmsdorf was murdered
- 13 Incredibly Lucky Earth Facts
- How NASA Is Helping Humans Reach the Red Planet, Using GPUs and 3D Visualization
- ISRO has put India in a great space
- 2006: a space oddity – the great Pluto debate
NASA says an asteroid the size of The Great Pyramid of Giza will skim past Earth tonight have 544 words, post on www.mirror.co.uk at January 12, 2020. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.