Giant asteroid to fly by Earth this week

NASA is tracking a giant asteroid which may be taller than the Empire State Building in the US, and it will be flying near the Earth on June 6 (Saturday).

Given the name rock 163348 (2002 NN4), the space rock is believed to be travelling at a speed of 5.2 km a second or 11,200 miles per hour and will pass by near the Earth’s orbit this week.

According to the dailystar.co.uk, it is estimated to be between 250m and 570m (820ft and 1870ft) — so it could be taller than the Empire State Building (443m or 1453ft) and the London Eye (135m or 443ft) combined.

The International space agency has classed the asteroid as an Aten asteroid, which is a space rock following a very wide orbit around the Sun.

Scientists do not think the asteroid will collide with Earth but will keep an eye on it in case it enters Earth’s atmosphere by chance. Asteroid 163348 (2002 NN4) is expected to zoom past Earth at 12:50 pm (IST) on Sunday this week.