Asteroid nearly as big as the Gherkin set to crash into Earths orbit this week

As if the heatwave couldn't get any worse, NASA has reported a massive asteroid almost as big as the Gherkin will crash its way into Earth's orbit.

This week will see the mighty asteroid, reportedly nearly the same size and scale of the London-based commercial skyscraper, crash right into the orbit of Earth.

The huge asteroid, named the 2022 KY4, has a diameter of somewhere between 68 and 150 metres and is hurtling right toward Earth's orbit, NASA has reported.

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Compared to London's commercial skyscraper the Gherkin, the asteroid falls a little short, with the skyscraper 180m high and 178m at its widest point.

But it isn't the first time the 2022 KY4 asteroid has come close to Earth, with NASA records reporting that the large entity had come closer to Earth than ever before 63 years ago.

While the asteroid is currently on track to get close to Earth on Sunday, July 17, the most recent passing came back in August 1959.

Before that, the comet was spotted just 11 years prior, with the two successive passes near Earth's orbit in 1948 and 1959, with no other planet in between.

2022 KY4 usually interacts with another planet before swinging back around to Earth, with the latest encounter coming off the back of a brush with Jupiter 20 years ago.

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Travelling near to Earth at a rate of 7.5 kilometres an hour, the asteroid will then pass over to Mars – meeting the red planet in around 11 years time.

It won't be the last time the KY4 asteroid passes through the Earth's orbit either, with NASA predicting the next passing will come in 2048, and travelling much faster the next time around.

An increase to 18.47 kilometres an hour will be seen in the asteroid the next time it takes a trip close to Earth.

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