Giant pyramid-shaped asteroid to shoot past earth in hours

Object is one of five due to hurtle past planet over weekend

Matt Drake
Saturday 07 December 2019 16:17
Giant pyramid-shaped asteroid to shoot past earth in hours

A 427-foot pyramid-shaped asteroid is due to fly by Earth on Sunday, scientists say.

According to the Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the object, called VH5 2019, will harmlessly fly past around 4.27 million miles from our planet at a speed of 6.1 miles per second.

At 187ft by 426.5ft, the asteroid is “pyramid-shaped" and almost as large as the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The asteroid is one of five due to fly past Earth over the weekend, all at safe distances.

It comes after a gigantic 2,000 asteroid flew past Earth last month.

In 2017, an asteroid the size of a skyscraper called 2010 NY65 flew past around eight times the distance between the Earth and the moon.

Nasa launched a new office in 2016 called The Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO).

This was created to keep track of asteroids that come too close to Earth.

A recent study suggests that over the last 290 million years, asteroids have been crashing into Earth at triple their previous rate.

The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was only 6.8 to 50.3 miles in diameter.

When it hit the surface it had an explosive impact 10 billion times bigger than the bomb that dropped on Hiroshima.

Debris would fly so high into the air that it would escape Earth's gravity and orbit around the planet, as well as spilling out into space.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments