An asteroid larger than Big Ben is slated to burn through the Earth’s atmosphere on January 11th
Image: Getty Images)
An asteroid the size of a skyscraper will burn through the Earth’s atmosphere in the New Year.
NASA named the giant boulder Asteroid 2013 YD48 and described it as a “potentially dangerous object”.
It will pass Earth within 3.48 million miles on January 11th.
The asteroid is roughly 104 feet wide, which means it is wider than Big Ben is tall.
And while the 3.48 million miles it will miss Earth seem massive, in terms of distance in space, it’s actually not that much.
It has been reported that NASA is classifying anything within 120 million miles of the Earth as a Near Earth Object (NEO).
Because of the distances they fly in, tiny changes in their trajectory could literally be fatal to Earth.
Scientists are tracking thousands of them to determine whether or not they are on a collision course with Earth.
And 2013 YD48 isn’t the only asteroid that will get close to Earth in the coming weeks.
There are three more that will pass the earth before it does.
The 2021 YK, which is 12 m wide, will fly within 118,000 miles of the planet this Sunday.
And then the year 2014, YE15, which is a measly 7 meters wide, will pass by on January 6th, approaching 4.6 million miles of Earth.
The third and final asteroid is 2020 AP1, the smallest with a diameter of only 4 meters, and it will pass on January 7th at a distance of 1.08 million miles from us.
Getty Images / iStockphoto)
Seeing them so close by is far from unusual, given that earlier this week an asteroid nearly three times the size of the 2013 YD48 flew within 1.9 million miles of the Earth at a speed of 47,000 mph .
Similarly, an asteroid believed to be ten times the size of this year’s Rockefeller Christmas tree in New York passed Earth on Christmas Eve.
The giant boulder, 229 meters in diameter, moved past our planet within 4 million miles.