NASA monitoring 450ft asteroid set to crash through Earth’s orbit at 30,000mph this week

A huge asteroid, some 450 feet across, is set to cross the Earth’s orbit on Friday according to NASA tracking data.

The object, designated 2021RE, is expected to come within 3,400,000 miles of Earth on September 10 – a near-miss by astronomical standards.

For comparison, the Moon is a mere 238,855 miles away from us.

2021RE is calculated to be travelling at speed in the region of 30,000mph, it it would make a sizeable dent if it struck the Earth..

The Earth is bombarded with over 100 tons of tiny space rocks and other interplanetary debris – the size of small pebbles – every day.

NASA’s tracking shows how 2021RE will shoot through the Earth’s orbit [show in in blue]
(Image: NASA)

Anything smaller than an average car is likely to burn up as it enters the atmosphere and it not considered any type of threat.

Every 2,000 years or so, says NASA, a meteoroid the size of a football field will actually make it though the atmosphere and cause significant damage.

It’s only every few million years that an object large enough to threaten civilisation will come along.

Over the next few days a handful of objects varying between the size of a house and that of a jet airliner are expected to pass close to the Earth.

Asteroids pass close to the Earth surprisingly often
Asteroids pass close to the Earth surprisingly often
(Image: Getty Images)

The nearest, 2021 QH1, is actually crossing Earth’s orbit today. The 90-foot space rock will come to within 533,000 miles of us overnight.

Earlier this month, NASA revealed a new study had increased the probability that asteroid Bennu, which is about one-third of a mile wide, will smash into Earth between now and the year 2300.

The C-type space rock, which is listed as a “potentially hazardous object” to humanity, was discovered in 1999.

Bennu is one of the two most hazardous known asteroids in the solar system.

Real 'planet killers' only arrive every few million years
Real ‘planet killers’ only arrive every few million years
(Image: Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Although the chance of an impact has increased, scientists still say the probability of Bennu striking the planet is still in the region of 1 in 2,700 [about 0.037%].

The new figures were calculated using new data from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to predict Bennu’s course through the Solar System, according to a NASA news release.

Researchers were able to rule out some impact scenarios but raised the overall probability for impact on September 24, 2182.

So if you have any plans for that day, make sure they’re indoors.

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