A gigantic and ‘potentially hazardous’ asteroid is heading straight towards our planet, Nasa has warned.
The monster space rock is called Asteroid 2017 VR12 and is reckoned to be at least 250 metres wide, although the estimates of its size have changed.
It was thought to be bigger than Buckingham Palace, but Nasa’s latest measurements estimate it to be a little bit smaller.
The asteroid was previously estimated to be about 470 metres wide.
But all this size-wrangling would be largely academic if it hit Earth because the object is definitely big enough to wipe out a city.
It will reach the closest point of its journey past Earth tomorrow and you can watch live footage of the asteroid zooming by on The Virtual Telescope Project website.
Nasa named the object 2017 VR12 and listed on its ‘Earth Close Approaches’ website.
It said the rock was one potential destination for a future mission to land a probe on the surface of an asteroid.
If the asteroid was as big as the first estimate of 470 metres, it could have a surface area of almost 55 acres. The newer estimate would give it a surface area of just over 15 acres.
Buckingham Palace takes up about 19 acres, with its gardens occupying another 40 acres.
The queen-sized space rock will zoom past at about 14,092 miles per hour at about four times the distance between the Earth and Moon, or 897,161 miles.
Luckily, it’s not going to hit us, but if it did it would release more energy than all the nuclear weapons detonated in the entirety of human history.
The impact would create a crater of more than two miles wide, killing millions if it hit a populated area.
However, our species would probably live to fight another day following this disaster.
‘We’re not talking about an asteroid that could destroy the Earth,’ Nasa investigator Dante Lauretta told Space.com last year whilst discussing a similarly-sized asteroid.
‘We’re not anywhere near that kind of energy for an impact.’