Empire State Building-sized ASTEROID to skim Earth at 10,400mph next week – and Nasa says it’s ‘potentially hazardous’
AN ASTEROID that is slightly bigger than the Empire State Building will be skimming past Earth on August 10th and Nasa has labelled it as “potentially hazardous”.
There’s no need to panic though as the space rock should only come within about 4.55million miles of us and will be whizzing past at 10,400 miles per hour.
The asteroid is called 2006 QQ23.
It is 1,870 feet in diameter.
As the Empire State Building is 1,454 feet tall, 2006 QQ23 is around 36 stories larger than it.
The fact it is likely to pass Earth from 4.55million miles away may seem like it’s no risk at all but any fast moving space object that comes within around 4.65 million miles is considered to be “potentially hazardous” by cautious space organisations.
The asteroid hasn’t got this close to Earth since 2001.
After its fleeting flypast next week, it is not expected to come near us again until February 15th 2022 but current data suggests it will come nowhere near as close.
What's the difference between an asteroid, meteor and comet?
Here's what you need to know, according to Nasa…
- 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, an ancient meteor strike on Mars created a ‘planet-wide tsunami’ across long-lost alien ocean.
The Sun has 5,500C ‘plasma tsunamis’ that move at nearly 700mph, scientists discover.
And, astronomers missed an enormous 3,300ft asteroid circling near Earth for decades – and blame its strange orbit.
What do you make of this enormous asteroid? Let us know in the comments…
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