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23 May, 2020 15:46

Statue of Liberty-sized ASTEROID barrelling towards Earth as six space rocks set to skim past

Statue of Liberty-sized ASTEROID barrelling towards Earth as six space rocks set to skim past

A huge asteroid that’s roughly the size of the Statue of Liberty is set to fly past Earth on Saturday. The enormous object is among a clutch of six space rocks that will whizz past our planet this weekend.

The largest of the half-dozen space visitors is dubbed 2020 JX and it measures up to 100 meters in diameter, making it around the same size as the icon on Liberty island in New York. 

NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) is tracking the flying chunk of space material in case it poses any danger to our planet. Thankfully, its calculations forecast that the space boulder will safely pass by at a speed of nearly 18,000 miles per hour at around 19:00 GMT.

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The US Space Administration has classified 2020 JX as an Apollo asteroid, the same classification as the meteor that injured hundreds of people when it exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in 2013. 

It has also been designated as a ‘Near Earth Object,’ the term NASA uses 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 neighborhood.”

Asteroid 2020 JX is the largest of four space rocks that will fly near Earth on Saturday. Two additional asteroids will sail past on Sunday and NASA says that all six will pass at a safe distance. The closest visitor will be around 900,000 miles from Earth at its closest point.

Astronomers are currently monitoring nearly 2,000 asteroids, comets and other objects that could be a danger to Earth. However, experts have also warned that undetected asteroids could also pose a threat to our planet.

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