NASA is expected to announce later today that a space rock, capable of wiping out a large city will make a pass of the Earth on 15th February.
The rock, some 35 yards in size will pass at a distance of 17,000 miles from the Earths surface, thats 14 times closer than the moon is to our planet, closer even than many weather satellites in orbit.
The fly by is being called “a record near miss” by scientists as it will be the closest an asteroid has come to Earth without actually hitting it since records began.
So far, all asteroids coming closer than this have impacted the surface, such as the 1908 rock that detonated high in the atmosphere and flattened vast areas of forest in an uninhabited part of Siberia. This became known as the Tunguska Event.
NASA is thought to know the whereabouts of only 1% of the space rocks that orbit far out in the asteroid belt.
- NASA shows mind-blowing images of Earth from a Billion miles away
- NASA shows stunning close-up photos of Jupiter's clouds
- Huge potentially hazardous asteroid hurtling towards Earth
- Mysterious X-ray flash in deep space has astronomers baffled
- NASA’s humanoid robot put to the test for ultimate Mars challenge