Science & Tech

A meteor measuring more than 5,000ft wide is hurtling towards Earth this week

A meteor measuring more than 5,000ft wide is hurtling towards Earth this week
Footage captures meteor's path over Sturminster, Dorset
UK Fireball Alliance

A meteor measuring a whopping 5,000 ft wide is heading towards Earth, Nasa has confirmed.

The enormous asteroid named 7335 (1989 JA) is 1.1 miles (1.8km) in diameter and will head past Earth on Friday.

It marks one of the biggest Near Earth Objects to pass by the planet in recent times and has been described as 'potentially hazardous' by Nasa.

Thankfully though it’s unlikely to get closer to us than a distance of 2.5 million miles.

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NASA's Centre for Near Earth Object Studies has stated that the object will be heading past Earth at 29,348 miles per hour when it reaches the closest point to us on Friday afternoon - for reference, that’s 14 times faster than a speeding bullet.

Nasa has previously said that potential impacts could potentially arrive at any time despite the fact that the threat from asteroids might be low.

Nasa described the object as 1.1 miles (1.8km) in diameter Creative Commons

Nasa said: “Experts estimate that an impact of an object the size of the one that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013 – approximately 55 feet (17 meters) in size – takes place once or twice a century.

“Impacts of larger objects are expected to be far less frequent (on the scale of centuries to millennia). However, given the current incompleteness of the NEO catalogue, an unpredicted impact – such as the Chelyabinsk event – could occur at any time.”

While 7335 (1989 JA) will miss Earth, there has been evidence of an asteroid hitting our planet as recently as earlier this month.

A meteor fireball that lit up UK skies may have dropped a meteorite in south Wales, scientists said recently.

Experts from the UK Fireball Alliance (UKFAll) believe the meteorite fell somewhere near Bridgend after a fireball was spotted on Thursday 12 May and sightings of the spectacle were reported widely on social media.

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