3-mile-wide asteroid to skim past Earth

Asteroid will come rather too close for comfort

However, it is still only around half the size of Chicxulub, which helped wipe out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

The space agency said: "With a diameter of about 5km, Phaethon is the third largest near-Earth asteroid classified as "Potentially Hazardous".

It's about 5 kilometers (roughly 3 miles) in size, and will come within 6.4 million miles of the Earth tomorrow.

And it will be closest to the Earth at 10pm this evening, narrowly missing us.

This weekend will be a flawless opportunity to see a neighborly asteroid pass by in the night sky.

A meteorite with a diameter of about a mile could send enough rock and dust into the stratosphere to block out the sun start an age of global cooling (not to mention the deaths caused by the impact), while a Chicxulub-type impact would be the most devastating disaster in human history, reports Popular Science.

Let's hope NASA's asteroid deflection plans stay on point for the next couple centuries.

The good news is, asteroid strikes of that nature are rare, and even if an asteroid were to hit us, the vast, vast majority of land is unpopulated - even if it were to hit land, which is unlikely itself since two thirds of the Earth is covered by water.

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The space rock has been named after the son of the Greek sun god Helios who pulled the sun across the sky.

To prove his divine powers, Phaethon made a decision to have a go, but he lost control of the chariot and ended up dragging the hot sun with him.

'The images should be excellent for obtaining a detailed 3D model'.

Astronomers from the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University have now published a video that tracks its path.

Humanity was nearly destroyed in the subsequent chaos, which scorched the Earth, burned vast amounts of vegetation and created the great deserts of Africa.

The asteroids are normally found in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

The uni wrote: "Apparently, this asteroid was once a much bigger object, but its many approaches to the Sun have caused it to crumble into smaller pieces". Usually meteor showers originate from comets.

'The asteroid's extremely elongated orbit, thanks to which it sometimes gets to the Sun closer than Mercury and it sometimes moves away farther than Mars, is another argument in favour of this theory'.


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