NASA tracking asteroid size of Canary Wharf set to smash into Earth orbit

NASA is keeping a close eye on a massive asteroid that they reckon could hit Earth's orbit any day now.

The agency's Centre for Near Earth Object Studies says that the space rock is expected to just whizz past Earth, but hopefully not into Earth directly.

The asteroid, reported to be around the size of Canary Wharf, named 2022 PC, was discovered just a month ago and it is approaching our planet's orbit.

READ MORE: NASA tracking two huge asteroids set to speed into Earth's orbit in space of 24 hours

If all goes according to calculations by NASA, the asteroid will pass Earth at a distance of just 6.3 million kilometres, around August 18.

Worryingly the rock is sized between 100 and 230 metres, with the larger end of the scale being equivalent to London's Canary Wharf, which stands at 235 metres tall.

NASA's JPL classified it as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" due to its predicted close pass with Earth.

Another asteroid on NASA's August approach list, 2019 AV13, is also set to pass close to Earth.

It is expected to approach on the August 22 and continues to be monitored by NASA.

However, when a smaller asteroid enters Earth's atmosphere from space, its surface is heated, causing melting and fragmenting – making it smaller.

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"Most of our meteorites fall from rocks the size of grapefruits to small cars," says meteor astronomer Peter Jenniskens of the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center.

"Rocks that big do not spin fast enough to spread the heat during the brief meteor phase, and we now have evidence that the backside survives to the ground."

In 2008, a six-meter-sized asteroid called 2008 TC3 was detected in space and tracked for over 20 hours before it hit the Earth's atmosphere and ended up in the Nubian desert in Sudan, with hundreds of fragments no bigger than a human fist.


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