Asteroid as big as Giza pyramid to make close approach to Earth
An asteroid that may be the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza is due to fly by our planet at a close distance over the weekend.
The asteroid, which NASA has labeled 2022 GU6, is expected to come within 750,000 miles of Earth on Sunday at around 8:01 a.m. Eastern time.
NASA’s calculations, which were made by its Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, were cited by Newsweek.
Scientists say that while this is a relatively close approach, there is no chance that the space rock will collide with Earth.
The asteroid will be flying by our planet at three times the average distance between Earth and its natural satellite, the moon.
It will be traveling at a speed of around 18,000 miles per hour — or 20 times the speed of sound and nine times as fast as a rifle bullet.
Data indicates that the asteroid measures between 216 feet and 492 feet across, which would make it larger than the 415-foot-tall Great Pyramid of Giza.
By contrast, the Washington Monument is 554 feet tall.
So far, NASA scientists have identified more than 29,000 “near-earth objects” — most of which are small asteroids. They include more than a hundred comets.
NEOs that measure more than 460 feet in diameter and fly within 4.6 million miles of Earth are categorized as “potentially hazardous.”
But experts say that none of these objects have any chance of collliding with Earth over the next 100 years.
Last month, NASA monitored a huge asteroid bigger than the Empire State Building as it flew by Earth at a distance of 3.5 million miles away.