Nasa has warned that a huge 1,082 foot asteroid will break into Earth’s orbit next week.
According to reports the 492 foot long space rock will skim past us on 11 December. The giant hunk of space debris has been labelled Asteroid 4660 Nereus and will come within 4.6m miles of Earth, putting the asteroid in the “potentially hazardous” category.
The giant piece of space debris is not expected to impact Earth with Nasa saying the closest the rock will come is 3.9m km away from the planet. However, anything that passes within 45m kilometres of Earth is considered a Near-Earth Object (NEO) and is monitored closely by NASA to check whether it is on a collision course with our planet.
While Nereus is expected to briefly cross paths with Earth we could run into it again in the future. The flying rock was first spotted in 1982 and makes an orbit of the sun every 664 days meaning it could return.
While Asteroid 4660 is larger than 90 per cent of known asteroids it is still classified as small and would be dwarfed by rocks in the ‘large’ category.
Concerned about the damage that a larger asteroid could cause to Earth last week Nasa launched a spacecraft into an orbit in a bid to knock it from its path.
The mission, known as a double asteroid redirection test, aimed at strengthening the Earth’s defence technologies against space debris.
If all goes to plan Nereus will shoot past our planet at 14,700 miles per hour later this month.