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Huge 250m asteroid tracked by NASA will collide with Earth’s orbit this week
June 29, 2021
A huge asteroid almost twice the size of the London Eye will crash into Earth's orbit this Thursday according to tracking data from NASA.
Scientists at the space agency's Centre for Near Earth Object Studies have identified a giant asteroid on course to collide with Earth's orbit.
NASA first observed the asteroid, dubbed "2021 GM4", on October 10, 2006.
It predicts 2021 GM4 to measure between a whopping 110m to 250m wide, which is over 800ft across.
To put that into context, the space rock could be anywhere between the same size as Bridgewater Place, Leeds and the IBM tower in Atlanta, USA.
It is also a similar size to the 2020 DM4 asteroid which passed Earth in May 2020.
The asteroid is currently travelling at 6.29 kilometres per second, which is roughly 14,100 mph.
Based on scientists' estimations, asteroid 2021 GM4 is expected to reach Earth's orbit on Thurs 1 July at approximately 11.53 pm.
NASA classifies the asteroid as 'Apollo' which is a near-Earth asteroid that crosses the Earth's orbit similar to that of 1862 Apollo.
The GM4 is of a similar size to an Amor asteroid named DM4 which bypassed Earth in May 2020.
Rocks categorised as Amor do not intercept with Earth’s orbit.
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The asteroid is the third of 5 asteroids to approach Earth in recent times and was also the biggest, measuring at 120m to 260m wide, which is nearly 900ft across.
According to those measurements, the space rock could have been anywhere between the size of the London Eye to the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai.
Astronomers are currently tracking nearly 2,000 asteroids, comets and other objects that threaten our planet.
According to Nasa, a "Near-Earth Object" or NEO is a term used to describe "comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood".
While the giant space rocks are deemed to be millions of nautical miles away, NASA classes Near Earth Objects as a 'near miss' in space terms.