Asteroid longer than world's tallest building to pass Earth

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A huge asteroid which is as wide as the world's tallest building - Dubai's Burj Khalifa - is tall will whizz past our planet in a fortnight's time.

Nasa have classed it as a "potentially hazardous" but do not think it will strike the Earth (file photo)How big is the asteroid?

Conspiracy theorists claim the Earth is due a direct hit with an asteroid.

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According to report in Daily Mail, this makes it almost 15 times faster than the world's quickest manned aircraft - the hypersonic North American X-15, which travelled at 4,520mph (7,300kmh).

It's 0.7 miles wide, and will pass our planet 2,615,128 miles away on 4th February.

For the sake of comparison, the moon orbits Earth at a distance of about 238,855 miles, and this rock from outer space is going to pass our planet at more than ten times that distance. Any asteroid that comes within 7,400,000km of Earth is described as "hazardous" by Nasa.

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The asteroid is the largest space rock to come close to Earth this year and previous research has found that a rock of this size could cause a mini-ice-age on Earth if it hit.

Scientists warned the "very severe global impact" would last several years, causing the world to become a much darker, colder and drier place. Even if the collision were to generate dust and soot, they would not settle for at least 6 years, as per the study's "worst case scenario".

Recent data showed there are 17,495 so-called Near-Earth Objects close to the planet, including 17,389 asteroids.

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We're glad to report that February's asteroid will not hit Earth. "There were 1888 such objects discovered in 2016 and 1,571 in 2015". In 2024, it will be subject to a Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), which will make use of kinetic energy to force a change in the direction of the asteroid. The year 1913 saw the Earth's last collision with celestial objects, as a meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk in Russian Federation.

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