Huge 2,400-foot-wide ‘Halloween asteroid’ to ‘fly by close to Earth’ at 52,000mph next week

An asteroid twice the size of the Empire State Building is expected to fly past Earth next week.

The massive rock, dubbed 2022 RM4 by experts, has been classified as “potentially dangerous” due to the projected close encounter.

Asteroid could be twice the size of the Empire State Building

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Asteroid could be twice the size of the Empire State BuildingPhoto credit: Getty Images – Getty

But don’t panic, it’s not expected to hit Earth.

In fact, scientists believe that it will be a good 2,297,173 km away from us.

That’s actually about six times the distance from Earth to the Moon.

Spatially, this is fairly close, but certainly not a cause for concern.

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The newly discovered asteroid could be as tall as 740 meters, which is nearly twice the size of the Empire State Building (not counting the top).

It would then not be far to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai with a height of 828 meters.

The asteroid will greet us shortly after Halloween, on November 1st.

“No danger, but the newly discovered asteroid 2022 RM4 will travel less than 6 lunar distances on November 1st,” said the amateur astronomer Tony Dunn.

“Possibly as wide as 740 meters, it will brighten to mag 14.3, well within range of backyard telescopes.

“That’s very close for an asteroid this size.”

Nasa has actually started preparing for dangerous asteroids should one head straight for Earth in the future.

In September, the space agency deliberately slammed a spacecraft into an asteroid 11 million miles away as part of a major test.

It was Nasa’s first planetary defense test and is just the beginning, as the agency will use the information to see if the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission actually changed the asteroid’s orbit.

In the future, Nasa could use similar missions to deflect incoming asteroids that threaten our planet.

Nasa Administrator Bill Nelson welcomed the mission, calling the project a “giant step in defending the planet.”

DART aimed to alter the orbit of its target Dimorphos, a small moon orbiting the asteroid Didymos.

The scheme mirrors the plot of the 1998 blockbuster flick Armageddon, in which Nasa flies a spacecraft to an asteroid to prevent it from hitting Earth.

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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9636505/halloween-asteroid-close-pass-earth-potentially-hazardous/ Huge 2,400-foot-wide ‘Halloween asteroid’ to ‘fly by close to Earth’ at 52,000mph next week

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