A ROGUE asteroid bigger than the Empire State Building is set to skim past Earth this week.
The monster space rock dubbed 2000 QW7 will whizz past us at over 14,000 miles per hour on Saturday.
There is no need to panic though as the asteroid should only come within 3.3million miles of Earth.
However, in the grand scheme of space this isn’t a large distance at all, so Nasa has still flagged it as a “close approach”.
The object has an estimated diameter of anywhere from 951 to 2133 metres, meaning that it is twice as high as the Shard.
In fact, if the space rock was a building on Earth it would be the second tallest on the globe.
Any fast moving space object that comes within around 4.65 million miles is considered to be “potentially hazardous” by cautious space organisations.
It will fly by just before midnight on the evening of Saturday 14.
Elon Musk has sparked fears that Earth would not be able to defend itself against giant asteroids with one of his recent tweets.
The billionaire made the chilling comment in response to a story shared by his friend about Nasa’s preparation for an incoming monster space rock named after the Egyptian god of chaos, Apophis.
Musk’s friend Joe Rogan shared an article about this huge asteroid and Musk replied: “Great name! Wouldn’t worry about this particular one, but a big rock will hit Earth eventually & we currently have no defence.”
Luckily for us, Apophis should skim past Earth within 19,000 miles of the surface.
What’s the difference between an asteroid, meteor and comet?
Here’s what you need to know, according to Nasa…
- 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)
- Meteoroid: When two asteroids hit each other, the small chunks that break off are called meteoroids
- Meteor: If a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it begins to vapourise and then becomes a meteor. On Earth, it’ll look like a streak of light in the sky, because the rock is burning up
- Meteorite: If a meteoroid doesn’t vapourise completely and survives the trip through Earth’s atmosphere, it can land on the Earth. At that point, it becomes a meteorite
- Comet: Like asteroids, a comet orbits the Sun. However rather than being made mostly of rock, a comet contains lots of ice and gas, which can result in amazing tails forming behind them (thanks to the ice and dust vapourising)