New Year’s asteroid bigger than Big Ben to crash into Earth’s atmosphere

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An asteroid the size of a skyscraper is going to burn through Earth’s atmosphere in the new year.

NASA named the huge rock Asteroid 2013 YD48 and labelled it a “potentially hazardous object”.

It will pass within 3.48million miles of Earth on January 11.

The asteroid is approximately 104metres wide, meaning it is wider than Big Ben is tall.

And, whilst the 3.48million miles it’ll miss Earth by seem massive, in terms of distance in space, it’s actually not that much.

It has been reported that NASA classify anything that passes within 120million miles of Earth as a Near-Earth Object (NEO).

A huge asteroid is due to fly through Earth’s atmosphere in the New Year
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Getty Images)

Due to the distances they fly in from, tiny changes in their trajectories could be literally fatal for Earth.

Scientists track thousands of these to observe whether they’re on a collision course with Earth or not.

And 2013 YD48 is not the only asteroid set to come close to the Earth in coming weeks.

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There are three more that are set to pass by the Earth before it does so.

The 2021 YK, which measures 12m wide, will fly within 118,000miles of the planet this Sunday.

And then 2014 YE15, which is a measly 7m wide, will pass by on January 6, getting within 4.6million miles of Earth.

The third and final asteroid is 2020 AP1, the smallest at only 4m across, and passing on January 7, at 1.08million miles from us.

2013 YD48 is one of a number of asteroids that has flown close to the Earth and is due to in coming weeks
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Getty Images/iStockphoto)

It is far from an uncommon occurrence to see them fly by so closely, as earlier this week an asteroid almost three times the size of 2013 YD48 flew within 1.9million miles of Earth at 47,000miles per hour.

Similarly, an asteroid thought to be 10 times the size of this year’s Rockefeller Christmas tree in New York passed by Earth on Christmas Eve.

The huge rock, 229m across, passed within 4 million miles from our planet.

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