Asteroid which could be ‘taller than Eiffel Tower’ to collide with Earth’s orbit

NASA is tracking a giant asteroid that has the potential to be taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

The space administration’s centre for Near Earth Object Studies has its eye on asteroid 65717 (BX3) and is listed on its Close Approach table.

Asteroid 65717 was first spotted in 1992 and will once again pass Earth on Saturday January 17 at 08.49am EST, the equivalent to 13:49pm Greenwich Mean Time.

It is predicted to zip past Earth safely at a speed of 3.59 kilometres per second or 8,030 miles per hour.

Space rock 65717 is so big that it is estimated to be between 180m and 410m, meaning it will likely be bigger than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The Eiffel Tower stands at a whopping 324m to its flagpole and is the largest structure in the French capital as other buildings are limited to a Government height restriction of 37m.

Asteroid 65717 may also be bigger than the Empire State Building in New York City, which looms over the United States tourist hotspot at 381m to its architectural peak.

NASA classes the asteroid as an Apollo asteroid which is an asteroid that collides with Earth’s orbit as it passes through space.

It is registered as a Near-Earth object as it is expected to come within 1.3 astronomical units – 150 million kilometres (93 million miles) – between the Earth and the Sun.

Fortunately, Asteroid 65717 will pass safely past the planet at a distance of 0.04733 AU, the equivalent of a whopping 4,398,286 Earth miles.

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A Near-Earth object is any small Solar System body, including comets, whose orbit brings it to proximity with Earth.

NASA's National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan has previously warned asteroids up to 1km in diameter can initiative a chain of devastating events.

Astronomers are currently tracking nearly 2,000 asteroids, comets and other objects that threaten our planet.

Earth hasn't seen an asteroid of apocalyptic scale since the space rock that wiped out the dinosaurs 66million years ago.

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