Massive asteroid travelling at 23,666mph passes by Earth next week

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Massive asteroid travelling at 23,666mph passes by Earth next week

A space rock the size of the London Eye is set to whizz past us next week.

The 400ft asteroid 2020 QL2 will make what NASA calls as a ‘near Earth’ approach, on Monday, September 14.

And it’s size means it is potentially one of the largest rocks on the US-based space agency’s NEO Earth Close Approaches list, reports the Express.

It’s travelling at 23,666 mph but is expected to safely pass our planet at ten times the distance between the Earth and the Moon, some 4,259,235 miles away.

NASA says: “Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood.”

Asteroid 2020 QL2 was first sighted on August 14 this year, with its most recent sighting being on September 3, according to NASA data.

NASA has categorically confirmed the space rock will not hit Earth.

But if it did, 2020 QL2 could cause some sizeable damage.

At 120 metres long, it would be far more catastrophic than Chelyabinsk event in 2013, when a 20m meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, smashing windows and injuring more than 1,000 people.

So while it is not going to hit Earth, the close approach does reiterate a need to maintain careful observations of the heavens.

Earth hasn’t seen an asteroid of apocalyptic scale since the space rock that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

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