Nasa launches rocket to deflect asteroid in first ‘planetary defence’ test

An asteroid the size of the Arc De Triomphe is going to have a close call with planet Earth on Valentine’s Day.

NASA is currently tracking three separate asteroids that are making a “close approach” to our planet and have revealed that one is almost as big as the famous Paris monument.

According to the experts, the largest of the trio of asteroids is estimated at being around 154 feet wide.

To put it into context, that is over half the size of New York’s Statue of Liberty which is 305 feet tall. The Arc De Triomphe is 164 feet tall and 148 feet wide.

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It comes as researchers revealed that the only way the planet could be saved from a similar-sized asteroid that almost completely wiped out the dinosaurs would be using nuclear weapons.

The largest asteroid to pass close to Earth is named the 2022 CF3 and will go past the planet at a distance of 1.5million miles away on Valentine's day. The other two smaller space rocks are named 2020 DF and 2022 CF1.

While it sounds like it is some distance away from us, for NASA, it is classified as a “close approach”.

In fact, any asteroid that passes Earth within 4.65million miles is labelled “potentially hazardous” by the space agency.

Importantly, none of the three asteroids is expected to make contact with our planet.

That’s a relief.

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