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Asteroid 'taller than Empire State Building' rocketing towards Earth at 11,200mph
1369  Light Myanmar 

NASA is tracking a giant asteroid which may be taller than the Empire State Building – and it’s set to skim Earth’s orbit this week. The Space Administration have dubbed the rock 163348 (2002 NN4), and it is expected to rocket by on Saturday June 6. It is estimated to be between 250m and 570m (820ft and 1870ft) – so it could be taller than the Empire State Building (443m or 1453ft) and the London Eye (135m or 443ft) combined. NASA have classed the asteroid as an Aten asteroid, which is a space rock following a very wide orbit around the Sun.

Scientists do not think the asteroid will collide with Earth, but will keep an eye on it in case it enters Earth’s atmosphere by chance. Asteroid 163348 (2002 NN4) is expected to zoom past Earth at 8.20am BST on Sunday this week. The space rock is believed to be travelling at a speed of 5.2 kilometres a second or 11,200 miles per hour.

The asteroid will approach Earth at a distance of 13.25 Lunar Distance or 0.03425 astronomical units from the Sun – this is roughly 5.1 million km (3.2 million miles) away from our planet. Despite its distance from Earth, NASA deems the space rock a Near Earth Object, as it deems all asteroids NEOs if they approach Earth within 1.3 astronomical units. Once the asteroid has safely zipped past Earth, we can next expect it to visit our planet in 2024, NASA estimates.

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