NASA has its eye on a huge asteroid that will skim past Earth later this month.
Asteroid 441987 (2010 NY65) has made the US space agency’s ‘Earth Close Approach list’ and is set to come near us on June 25.
The space rock could be up to 748ft long.
That’s more than twice the size of the Statue of Liberty which stands at 305ft.
It’s even almost as tall The Shard, which at 1,020ft is the UK’s tallest building.
The asteroid should shoot past Earth in the early hours of the morning on June 25.
It will be at it’s closest at around 5am UTC to be precise.
There is no need to panic though as the asteroid should only come within 3.7million miles
However, in the grand scheme of space this isn’t a large distance at all, so Nasa has still flagged it as a “close approach”.
Any fast moving space object that comes within around 4.65 million miles is considered to be “potentially hazardous” by cautious space organisations.
The huge asteroid will be travelling at a speed of just over 30,000 miles per hour.
That makes it one of the fastest and largest asteroids on Nasa’s NEO Earth Close Approaches list.
What’s the difference between an asteroid, meteor and comet?
- Asteroid: An asteroid is a small rocky body that orbits the Sun. Most are found in the asteroid belt (between Mars and Jupiter) but they can be found anywhere (including in a path that can impact Earth)
- Meteoroid: When two asteroids hit each other, the small chunks that break off are called meteoroids
- Meteor: If a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it begins to vapourise and then becomes a meteor. On Earth, it’ll look like a streak of light in the sky, because the rock is burning up
- Meteorite: If a meteoroid doesn’t vapourise completely and survives the trip through Earth’s atmosphere, it can land on the Earth. At that point, it becomes a meteorite
- Comet: Like asteroids, a comet orbits the Sun. However rather than being made mostly of rock, a comet contains lots of ice and gas, which can result in amazing tails forming behind them (thanks to the ice and dust vapourising)
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In other space news, a space junk collision has left a hole in the International Space Station.
SpaceX is about to rocket 128 glow-in-the-dark baby squid into space for Nasa.
And, a electric Moon buggy that will take astronauts around the lunar south pole is being created by Lockheed Martin and General Motors.
What are your thoughts on the huge asteroid? Let us know in the comments…
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