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NASA says huge asteroid size of Eiffel Tower is hurtling towards Earth next week


A huge asteroid the size of the Eiffel Tower is hurtling towards Earth – and is expected to come close to the planet next week.

The 4660 Nereus space rock has been identified as a “potentially hazardous asteroid” by the experts at NASA.

It is said that the asteroid will zoom past Earth at a speed of 6.58km per second on Saturday, December 11.

And while there are fears over the impact the asteroid could have, it appears that there will be little threat posed to the planet.

NASA has said that the distance between the asteroid and Earth will be 3.9 million kilometres – which is a distance of around 10 times greater than that between the Earth and moon.

The 330 metre long space rock is said to be larger than 90 per cent of asteroids, but it is tiny compared to larger ones, according to Space Reference.

4660 Nereus is not expected to come close to Earth again until March 2, 2031 and November 2050.

Experts say that it will get much closer to the Earth in February 2060, when it is expected to reach around 1.2m kilometres within the planet.

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News of the asteroid’s passing came after a similar incident occurred yesterday.

The 1994 WR12 asteroid crashed into Earth’s orbital path on Monday and was said to be the same size as Blackpool Tower.

Thankfully the space rock did not crash land on our planet. However, experts warned that any impact could have produced the equivalent energy to 77 megatons of TNT.

Boffins have said that it is inevitable that an asteroid will one day enter our atmosphere at some point.

When that happens, Professor Alan Duffy, director of the Space Technology and Industry Institute, urged people not to be too curious.

Speaking to the I’ve Got News For You, he said: “I would say the best advice is, for goodness sake, do not look at this thing.

“I mean, it‘s going to be hard not to – the brightness of the glare from these objects burning up in the atmosphere.

“That‘s actually what caused a lot of the injuries in Chelyabinsk (a meteor strike in Russia in 2013), people not unreasonably looked up at this enormous burning fireball in the sky, whose brightness was essentially that of the Sun by the time it finally erupted, that caused a lot of retina damage – so make sure you’re not looking right at it.”

However all hope is not lost for humanity if another asteroid was set to make an even closer approach to our planet.

DART, or Double Asteroid Redirection Test, is a pilot of a new technology to prevent future asteroid collisions such as the type that wiped out the dinosaurs.

The scheme is designed to “punch” an asteroid off course and is the first demonstration of a “kinetic impactor technique” – essentially a high-powered gun – which is designed to change the motion of an asteroid in space.




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