Asteroid bigger than St Paul’s Cathedral to collide with Earth’s orbit next week

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NASA is tracking a giant asteroid – likely to be bigger than St Paul’s Cathedral in London – that's expected to zip past Earth.

Asteroid 2020 TY1 is on course to speed past our planet on Saturday, November 7, at a whopping 13.02 kilometres per second, which is the equivalent to 29,000 miles per hour.

It is classed as an Apollo asteroid – a comet or asteroid which crosses the orbit of the Earth as they pass through space.

NASA’s Centre for Near Earth Object Studies is monitoring the space rock as it is expected to pass within 1.3 astronomical units of Earth.

The asteroid is currently estimated to pass at a distance of 0.037 astronomical units, which is relatively close in space terms.

To put this into perspective, the asteroid will pass 3,498,742 earth miles, meaning the rock is highly unlikely to collide with Earth.

It will fly by at 03.35 Eastern Standard Time, which is 7.35am in British Standard Time.

Asteroid 2020 TGI will be anywhere between 79m to 180m wide.

The asteroid in theory is bigger than St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

St. Paul's Cathedral measures 174m from its steps to its peak, standing in London, United Kingdom, as the cathedral of the Bishop of London.

  • Asteroid size of a football pitch to collide with Earth's orbit at 30,000mph today

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

Most asteroids will not come into contact with Earth's atmosphere, but in rare instances they can cause problems for weather systems.

NASA's team of astronomers are currently tracking around 2,000 asteroids, comets and other objects that could fly close to Earth.

According to NASA, a NEO is also a term used to describe "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."

  • Asteroids
  • Nasa
  • Space

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