An asteroid that’s said to be the size of two football pitches is to pass by Earth just before 6am tomorrow morning.
The asteroid is named 2017 TS3.
According to NASA, the huge ball of stone measures up to 720ft (219m) in diameter, is as big as two full-sized football pitches – with average football pitch from 90m to 120m in length – and will accelerate past the planet we call home at a whopping 22,000 mph (35,000 kmh).
The Earth-bound asteroid will pace across the solar system at 30 times the speed of sound.
NASA said that the asteroid will pass by at around 5.51am GMT tomorrow (Tuesday 2 November), according to reports by Newsweek.
Yet although this all sounds a little concerning on first read, despite the “close approach” of the asteroid, TS3 poses no threat to sleeping Brits, as it will never get much closer than 5.4 million miles away – which is 14 times further than the moon.
Depending on NASA’s fears for the consequences of an asteroid on our planet, they may declare the incident a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) – but this is unlikely to happen for TS3 because, despite its incredible pace, it’s smaller than many of the asteroids out there in the solar system and won’t get too close to Earth.
PHA events are usually limited to asteroids which pass within 4.5 million miles of Earth and measure more than 140m in diameter.
The arrival of TS3 tomorrow comes after scientists feared earlier this month that an asteroid the size of the Pyramids of Giza – named 2017 SM3 – could hit the Earth’s atmosphere.
But in the end, the huge rock kept a safe distance at 3.5 million miles from Earth.
In total, there has roughly been 27,000 near-Earth asteroids discovered, according to NASA, and of these, around 1,000 are thought to be more than a kilometer in diameter.
Featured Image – Flickr