Asteroid ‘bigger than Leaning Tower of Pisa’ set to collide with Earth’s orbit
An asteroid bigger than the Leaning Tower of Pisa is set to collide with Earth’s orbit this week.
The space rock has been dubbed 2017 XQ60 by a team of astrologists at NASA's Near-Earth Object studies laboratory.
Asteroid XQ60 is estimated to be between 35m and 78m wide, making it one-and-two-fifths bigger than the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
The tower stands 56.4 m tall along the angle of its lean and is understood to weigh approximately 14,500 metric tons.
Astrologists believe XQ60 will fly past Earth on December 21 at 08.18 Eastern Standard Time, which is the equivalent to 2.18pm UK time.
December 21 is also the day some conspiracy theorists claim the world will end, due to the alignment of two planets with the winter solstice.
NASA logged the asteroid on its Close Approach table and will monitor the rock until it is at safer distance from Earth.
It is travelling at a speed of 15 kilometre per second, which equates to a whopping 33,554 miles per hour.
The asteroid has been classified as an Aten space rock, which is an asteroid whose orbits bring them into proximity with Earth.
Aten asteroids are known to behave oddly and are the asteroid's that are most likely to hit Earth.
With that being said, Asteroid XQ60 is predicted to pass our planet safely.
Just 4 days after asteroid XQ60 passes, another space rock, asteroid 501647 will be zooming past planet Earth at 22,300 miles per hour.
It is expected to pass our planet safely but will collide with the Earth's orbit beforehand as NASA have classed it as an Apollo asteroid.
Apollo asteroids are Near Earth Objects that have a greater axis than the rest of the Earth and therefore collide with the planet in orbit.
The asteroid is estimated to be anywhere between 90m and 210m, making it one of the biggest asteroids to pass Earth in December.
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