Nasa warns Boeing 747-sized asteroid will pass by Earth today on ‘close approach’

AN ASTEROID the size of a jumbo jet will slam through Earth at top speed today – one of dozens slated to fly this week.

The potentially dangerous space rock 2022 DP3 will approach close at 4:34pm UK time (12:34 EST), according to Nasa.

A space rock the size of a jumbo jet will fly past Earth today


A space rock the size of a jumbo jet will fly past Earth todayCredit: Getty

It is expected to pass within 700,000 miles around our planet – or nearly three times the distance between Earth and the Moon.

Objects have been added to Nasa’s “Near Approach” database – although it poses no danger to our planet.

Thousands of so-called near-Earth objects (NEOs) are monitored to provide early warning if they move to collide with our planet.

Any space object that reaches 4.65 million miles from us is considered “potentially dangerous” by conservative space organizations.

According to Nasa’s Center for Near-Earth Object Research, asteroid 2022 DP3 is moving at up to ten kilometers (six miles) per second.

That’s about 36,000 kilometers an hour – or twice the speed of a bullet.

The space rock is 69 meters wide, making it about the size of a Boeing 747 jet.

It is one of more than a dozen space objects expected to make what Nasa calls a “close approach” this week.

Fortunately, there are no asteroids being tracked by the space agency that are thought to pose a danger to us.

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

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

However, smaller objects capable of flattening an entire city crash into Earth frequently.

A forest several hundred meters wide ravaged 800 square miles near Tunguska in Siberia on June 30, 1908.

Luckily, Nasa doesn’t believe any of the NEOs it has its eyes on are in the process of colliding with our planet.

However, that could change in the coming months or years as the space agency regularly revises the predicted orbits of objects.

“Nasa doesn’t know of any asteroids or comets that are on a collision course with Earth, so the probability of a major collision is quite small,” Nasa said.

“In fact, as best we can tell, there is no large object capable of hitting Earth at any time in the next few hundred years.”

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Even if one were to crash into our planet, the majority of asteroids would not wipe out life as we know it.

According to Nasa, a “global catastrophe” occurs only when objects larger than 900 meters crash into the Earth.

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