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Home >Science >News >Asteroid the size of stadium to zoom past Earth on Saturday, says Nasa

A huge asteroid, about the size of a stadium or thrice the size of the Taj Mahal, is heading towards Earth at a very high speed. Named '2008Go20', the asteroid will fly past the Earth on 24 July.

American space agency Nasa has said that the is hurtling towards the Earth at 18,000 miles an hour, but there is nothing to worry about.

The asteroid, sized about 220 metres in diameter, is to pass at a distance of 4.7 million kilometres from Earth. Asteroid 2008 GO20 won't come any closer than 2,605,509 miles, as per an interactive map given by Nasa.

While the asteroid will safely move past Earth, its orbit close to the planet has been classified as Apollo, which holds the most dangerous asteroids. The American space agency is continuously monitoring the object.

The space agency has categorised the flying object as a Apollo class asteroid; for common people.

Though the asteroid will be very close to Earth, it will still be 0.04 au (astronomical unit) away from Earth, as per Nasa's calculations. That's a distance of 3,718,232 miles. To put it in perspective, the moon is approximately 238,606 miles from Earth.

What are asteroids?

Asteroids are among the leftover debris from the solar system's formation some 4.5 billion years ago. A sample could hold clues to the origins of life on Earth, scientists say.

As per the Nasa Joint Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which tracks asteroid movement, an asteroid is classified as a near-Earth object when its distance from our planet is less than 1.3 times the distance from Earth to the Sun (the Earth-Sun distance is about 93 million miles).

The orbital paths of asteroids are at times influenced by the gravitational pull of planets, which causes their paths to alter.

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