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Asteroid coming ‘close’ to Earth

An asteroid roughly half the size of an Olympic swimming pool will soon pass by Earth at a “close” distance of around 120,000km.The asteroid, 2011 ES4, is still classed as “potentially hazardous” even though it will be between 72,000km and 16 million kilometres away when it passes on Tuesday. The moon, by comparison, is 384,000km…

An asteroid roughly half the size of an Olympic swimming pool will soon pass by Earth at a “close” distance of around 120,000km.

The asteroid, 2011 ES4, is still classed as “potentially hazardous” even though it will be between 72,000km and 16 million kilometres away when it passes on Tuesday. The moon, by comparison, is 384,000km away from Earth.

NASA is confident it’s not going to hit us.

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The last time the asteroid passed by in March 2011, it was visible over a four-day period.

This time it appears it will come a bit closer and may be visible for even longer, even as it moves past Earth at a speed of more than 8km/second.

The 2011 ES4 asteroid will be joined in the skies by a smaller asteroid known as 2020 QG5, which hasn’t been seen since 2004.

It, however, will be considerably further away at around 2.9 million kilometres.

An asteroid is designated a “near Earth object” if it comes within a range of around 50 million kilometres.

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