Nasa: & # 39; Dangerous & # 39; asteroid bigger than St. Paul's Cathedral on the way to earth

A huge asteroid bigger than one of Britain's most famous monuments zooms in on our planet.

The gigantic space rock is called 2016 NF23 and goes to earth with a speed of more than 20,000 miles per hour – which is about 15 times as fast as Concorde.

NASA thinks the object is up to 160 meters wide, meaning it could be bigger than St. Paul's Cathedral, which stands 111 meters high and was the tallest building in London until 1967.

It passes a distance of about 3 million miles on August 29 and is big enough to be potentially dangerous & # 39; to be considered.

An artist & # 39; s impression of an asteroid in orbit around the earth

If the rock hit the earth, it would destroy an entire city and kill millions.

Fortunately, it is not on a collision course with our planet, so it will not affect us.

Humanity does not have to be afraid of gigantic asteroids large enough to sweep us off the ground, because they are easy to follow because of their enormous size.

But we must be very scared of smaller stealth asteroids & # 39; large enough to eradicate a city and extremely difficult to detect.

According to the European Space Agency, astronomers have seen only 1 in 100 rockeries that are 1 km wide or lower.

St Paul & # 39; s Cathedral is one of the most famous buildings in the world (Photo: PA)
Small asteroids are much more difficult to recognize and follow than large asteroids

NASA figures show that up to now around 4,300 space spots between 100 and 1 kilometers have been spotted.

If ESA's predictions are correct, it could mean that there are actually 430,000 asteroids and we have no idea where most of them are or are on a collision course with our planet.

Detlef Koschny, head of the ESA near-Earth object team, said that even small objects could cause great damage.

When a 100-meter asteroid hits the earth, it would cause significant damage in an area the size of Germany and even affect the surrounding region. But asteroids of this magnitude do not often reach the earth. Perhaps on average every 10,000 years, "he told Space Daily.

An image of the devastation caused by the Tunguska explosion

From 100 meters to 50 meters, the statistical frequency of strikes increases to once every 1000 years. A century ago in 1908, an object of 40 meters hit the earth above Tunguska, Siberia, and destroyed a forest area the size of the Munich metro square.

And if we go to asteroid dimensions of around 20 meters – such as the asteroid that exploded in 2013 about Chelyabinsk in Russia, in which 1,500 people were injured – these occur once every 10 to 100 years. We will certainly see something like that again during our lives. & # 39;

Earlier this year, NASA warned of a & # 39; vulnerability & # 39; in the defense of the earth, which means that there is only one & # 39; limited & # 39; opportunity to see asteroids from a certain direction in space.

Koschny supported this warning and said that smaller objects are often only noticed when they pass the moon.

If a large asteroid was noticed so late, this would not allow governments enough time to evacuate cities in the firing line.

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