Huge 160m asteroid ‘bigger than London Eye’ set to crash through Earth’s orbit

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    A massive asteroid estimated to be bigger than the London Eye will be crashing through the Earth’s orbit this week.

    Asteroid 2013 WV44 will be hurtling at an estimated speed of 11.81 km per second, or 26,000 mph, around 9am on Wednesday, June 28.

    The asteroid, thought to be around 160m wide, will be million miles from Earth at the closest point of its journey across space – while that sounds like a lot, it is close enough to qualify as a "Close Approach" to the boffins at NASA.

    READ MORE: Double tragedy as man killed in freak crash trying to save dying son from heat

    The asteroid is 30 metres wider than the London Eye but the “Near Earth Object (NEO)” is highly unlikely to cause any disruption given how far away it will be from the Earth.

    It is not currently known where the asteroid can be seen from, though nearly all NEOs require specialist equipment to be seen from Earth.

    "Asteroids don’t emit their own visible light, so we primarily observe them via the sunlight that they reflect," Dr. Susanna Kohler from the American Astronomical Society previously said of asteroids.

    2013 WV44 is one of over 31,000 near-Earth objects [NEOs] that have been identified so far, with many more believed to be awaiting discovery out in the darkness of space.

    Any asteroid that travels within 30 million miles of Earth's orbit is classified as a NEO, and NASA classifies them as "potentially hazardous objects” if they come within 4.6 million miles of Earth's orbit and have a diameter greater than 460 feet.

    So far, around 2,300 asteroids have been added to the “potentially hazardous” list, and while none of them spell imminent disaster there’s always a risk that their current orbits could be perturbed, sending them on a collision course with our planet.

    Asteroids are small space rocks, or “cosmic leftovers” from the solar system’s formation about 4.5billion years ago.

    During the formation of Jupiter small objects started to collide with each other, leading to fragments.

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    • Nasa
    • Asteroids
    • space
    • London

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