Massive asteroid the size of 50-story SKYSCRAPER due to skim past Earth in two days | The Sun

A LARGE asteroid will make a close approach to Earth this week, according to space object trackers.

Dubbed Asteroid 2022 KY4, the rock will make its closest approach to our planet in two days' time on July 17.

The space rock measures around 500ft in diameter – that's around the size of a New York City commercial skyscraper.

Astronomers estimate that the asteroid is moving at a rate of 7.55 KM/s or 16,888 miles per hour.

Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory first spotted the asteroid in August 1929.

Researchers computed the space rock's lastest orbit data on July 12 2022, at 5:49 am.

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This is not the space rock's first time approaching Earth. It was last here around August 1959.

Nasa records show that in that flyby, the asteroid came closer than ever before.

Before that encounter, the asteroid approached Earth once more in 1948.

The rock also makes close approaches to other celestial bodies – it has been spotted near Mars and Jupiter on more than one occasion.

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After the asteroid passes by Earth this time around, it will head towards Mars, reaching that Red Planet's orbit in 11 years.

Asteroid 2022 KY4 will next approach our Earth in 2048 at a much faster rate.

What is an asteroid?

An asteroid is a small rocky body that orbits the Sun.

Most are found in the asteroid belt (between Mars and Jupiter) but they can be found anywhere – including in a path that can impact Earth.

They differ from comets, which are mostly made of ice and gas, and feature long 'tails' behind them.

How can I watch an asteroid?

Interested persons could normally watch asteroid flybys on Virtual Telescope's webpage and YouTube account.

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However, if you're an amateur astronomer, you could use your own telescope.

Of course, it's important to note that the viewing conditions will need to be clear for this.

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