NASA‘s telescopes that observe and monitor asteroids have detected a cosmic rock that has the size of one of Earth’s great pyramids approaching our planet.
According to NASA, 427 feet (130 meters) pyramid-sized asteroid is about to fly by Earth on Sunday. The Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies reported that the space rock, named VH5 2019, will safely hurtle past our planet at approximately 4.27 million miles from it at 22,000mph (35,000kmh)
The space object will be passing relatively close to Earth in the first hours of the morning, flying past at 9.24 am GMT (4.24 am ET). Measuring 187 feet by 426.5 feet, the asteroid is shaped like a pyramid and is almost as massive as the Great Pyramid of Giza.
VH5 2019 is one of the five other space rocks due to fly by Earth over the weekend, all of them following a safe trajectory. The last time this asteroid passed by our planet at such close distance was in 1983, the space object then flying within 3.9 million miles from Earth. It will pass by Mars next year and fly again by Earth in 2021, and then again in 2026 and 2028.
NASA has established a new office known as the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) back in 2016. This department was created to monitor and observe asteroids that come too close to our planet.
Recent research shows that over the last 290 million years, space rocks have been hitting Earth at triple their earlier pace. The asteroid that managed to annihilate the dinosaurs was only about 6.8 by 50.3 miles in diameter, but when it collided with the planet’s surface, it had an explosive effect 10 billion times more massive than the bomb that blew off at Hiroshima.
Asteroid VH5 2019 will be accompanied by a smaller space object, an asteroid dubbed 2019 XY, which is believed to be 49 feet wide. The later space rock will be flying close to Earth at approximately 4.45 am GMT (11.45 m ET).