Asteroid ‘bigger than Boeing-747 jet’ to collide with Earth’s orbit next week

An asteroid bigger than a Boeing-747 jet is set to collide with Earth’s orbit next week, NASA’s Centre for Near Earth Objects has said.

NASA is tracking space rock 2020 RK2, an asteroid which is currently on trajectory to collide with Earth’s orbit on Wednesday, October 7.

The asteroid was first spotted by astrologists last month.

It is classed as an Apollo asteroid, which is an asteroid that will cross the Earth’s orbit as it safely flies past.

Asteroid 2020 RK2 will be hurtling through space at a speed of 6.68 kilometres per second, which is the equivalent to 14,942 miles per hour.

NASA estimates 2020 RK2 to be anywhere between 36m and 81m in diameter, and the equivalent to 118 to 265 foot wide.

To put this into perspective, the asteroid could be bigger than the wingspan of a Boeing 747 8 series aeroplane, which is 68.5m wide.

It is highly unlikely keen astronomers will be able to see the asteroid from Earth, but the space rock will zip past at 1.12pm Eastern Standard Time or 6.12pm British Summer Time.

And the chances of it causing any damage are extremely unlikely, with NASA estimating it will fly by at a distance of 2,378,483 miles away.

Once the space rock safely passes planet Earth, it will not visit our orbit again until August 2027.

  • International Space Station in 'avoidance manoeuvre' to dodge 'unknown' debris

Astrologists at the space station are tracking hundreds of comets and asteroids at all times, including a 124ft to 275ft asteroid set to approach Earth on Thursday October 8, the day after 2020 RK2 passes.

The space agency's Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies has dubbed the rock (2020 SX3), after it was first observed by astrologists on August 19 this year.

Space rock 2020 SX3 is expected to approach Earth's orbit at 11:16am Eastern Standard Time, which is 4.14pm British Standard Time.

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