Asteroid twice the size of the Empire State Building to whizze past Earth in “close approach” today, Nasa warns

NASA is keeping a close eye on an asteroid that will narrowly pass Earth today.

The space rock 2022 RM4 is up to 2427 feet long, making it nearly twice the size of the Empire State Building.

A giant asteroid is going into one today

1

A giant asteroid will safely fly past Earth on a “close approach” todayCredit: Alamy

Fortunately, it is expected to singe by at a safe distance and pose no threat to our planet.

The asteroid has been added to Nasa’s Close Approaches Databasetracking thousands of so-called Near Earth Objects (NEOs).

According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the stone is traveling at 84,500 km/h (52,500 mph) – 25 times faster than a bullet.

It will be within about 1.4 million miles (2.3 million kilometers) of Earth – a stone’s throw in space.

Any fast-moving object that comes within 4.65 million miles of us is classified as “potentially dangerous” by cautious space organizations.

It is one of more than 2,000 asteroids, comets and other NEOs being tracked 24/7 by experts.

They are monitored to give us early warning should a space rock come on a collision course with our planet.

Nasa says 2022 RM4 will safely fly by around 6:30 p.m. UK time (2:30 p.m. EST).

Earth has not seen an asteroid of apocalyptic proportions since the monster that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

However, smaller ones, capable of razing an entire city, crash to the ground every now and then.

A rock a few hundred meters wide devastated 800 square miles of forest near Tunguska in Siberia on June 30, 1908.

Luckily, Nasa doesn’t think any of the NEOs it’s keeping an eye on are on a collision course with our planet.

That could change in the coming months or years, however, as the space agency frequently revises the predicted trajectories of objects.

Astronomers may in the future discover a gigantic rock their telescopes had previously indicated, although NASA believes it has found 90 percent of potential planet killers near us.

“NASA is currently not aware of any asteroid or comet on a collision course with Earth, so the likelihood of a major collision is fairly low,” NASA says.

“As far as we can tell, no large object is likely to hit Earth for the next hundred years.”

Even if one did hit our planet, the vast majority of asteroids would not wipe out life as we know it.

According to NASA, “global catastrophes” are only triggered when objects with a diameter of more than 900 meters hit the earth.

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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9652778/massive-asteroid-empire-state-earth-near-miss-nasa/ Asteroid twice the size of the Empire State Building to whizze past Earth in “close approach” today, Nasa warns

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