Huge asteroid approaching Earth this week, Nasa warns

A giant space rock will fly past Earth this week.

Asteroid 2013 BO76 will hurtle past at a staggering 30,000 miles per hour (50,000 km/h) on Thursday, according to Nasa trackers.

A giant asteroid will fly past Earth this week


A giant asteroid will fly past Earth this weekPhoto credit: Getty

With a diameter of up to 450 meters, it is about the size of the Empire State Building.

Fortunately, the fast object is expected to miss our planet at a distance.

It will fly by at a safe distance of about 3.1 million miles, according to data from Nasa’s near-Earth Objects database.

That’s or 13 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon — a near miss in space.

The object has been included in Nasa’s list of upcoming “close approaches” – although it poses no threat to our planet.

Thousands of so-called Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are being tracked to give early warning if they are on a collision course with our planet.

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

According to Nasa’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, asteroid 2013 BO76 will make its close flyby at 10:55 p.m. EST on Thursday (2:55 a.m. on Friday UK time).

It’s one of seven space objects expected to make what Nasa is calling “close approach” this week.

Fortunately, none of the asteroids being tracked by the space agency are believed to pose a threat to us.

Astronomers are currently tracking 2,000 asteroids, comets and other objects that may one day threaten our light blue dot, and new ones are being discovered every day.

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

However, smaller objects capable of leveling an entire city do crash to earth from time to time.

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

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.

“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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