Asteroid ‘size of Big Ben’ set to enter Earth’s orbit within hours at 40,000mph

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An asteroid travelling at speeds of up to 40,264mph is set to collide with Earth’s orbit on Thursday, NASA's Centre for Near Earth Objects confirmed.

Giant space rock 2021 EV3 is zipping through the atmosphere at speeds of up to 17.86km a second, which is around 40,264mph.

The rock is currently on course to fly safely past earth on March 25th 2021 at around 4pm Eastern Standard Time.

If you’re in the UK, this 4pm EPM is equivalent to around 8pm Greenwich Mean Time.

Sadly for stargazers, asteroid 2021 EV3 will not be visible from Earth as it will be at a Lunar distance of 18.46m.

This sounds close but to put this into perspective, 18.46LD is around 4,408,893 Earth miles away from the Blue planet, according to Unit Converter.

NASA also believe the space rock to be one of the most dangerous types of asteroid, an Apollo asteroid.

Apollo asteroids are considered one of the most dangerous of their kind because they cross Earth's orbit as they pass through space.

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The rock is expected to pass safely however, a good thing considering its large size.

Asteroid 2021 EV3 is predicted to have a diameter of between 73m and 160m – so it's expected to be taller than London's iconic monument Big Ben.

Big Ben stands at the north end of the Palace of Westminster at approximately 96m tall.

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Astronomers are currently tracking nearly 2,000 asteroids, comets and other objects which may threaten our planet.

According to NASA, Near Earth Object is a term used to describe "comets and asteroids which have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood".

Earth hasn't seen an asteroid of apocalyptic scale since the space rock which wiped out the dinosaurs 66million years ago.

  • Nasa

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