Asteroid bigger than Europe’s tallest tower hurtling towards Earth’s orbit

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An asteroid estimated to be bigger than Europe's tallest structure, the Ostankino Tower, is set to collide with Earth’s orbit this weekend.

NASA’s centre of Near Earth Object studies is tracking the giant space rock on its close approach list.

It is classed as an Aten asteroid, which is an asteroid most likely to hit Earth because of its tendency to act erratically, space.com claims.

The asteroid, named 2015 NU13, will fly past the planet at 9.16am Eastern Standard Time, which is 2.16pm Greenwich Mean Time on September 9th.

Asteroid NU13 is expected to zip past Earth at speeds up to 15.08 kilometers per second – a whopping 33,732 miles per hour.

NASA estimates the rock to be between 310m – 680m wide, bigger than most skyscrapers on planet Earth.

To put this into perspective, the asteroid is bigger than the Ostankino Tower in Moscow, Russia.

The Ostankino Tower has been the tallest structure in Europe since its construction in 1967 and stands at 540m to its spire.

It is also bigger than the Eiffel Tower in France, a structure that towers over Paris at 324m to its tip.

Sadly for stargazers the asteroid will not be visible from Earth as although it is classed as a near Earth object, it is millions of miles away.

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Astronomers are currently tracking nearly 2,000 asteroids, comets and other objects that threaten our planet, some of which are rarely as big as asteroid NU13.

Usually the space rocks are nothing to worry about but scientists believe there will be an asteroid strike Earth will need to detect one day.

Several theories have emerged on how to do this, but in 2021 NASA will launch its first DART mission, which aims to slightly alter the the solar system to divert dangerous asteroids or comets.

  • Nasa
  • Space
  • Asteroids

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