Asteroid travelling at 33,300mph set to crash into Earths atmosphere this week

An asteroid travelling at a staggering 33,300mph is set to enter Earth's atmosphere in a narrow miss this week.

Asteroid 2023 BU was only discovered on Saturday (January 21) and will skim by us at 12.30am on Friday morning (January 27).

It is set to travel past us roughly 6,500miles from the centre of the Earth, which equates to roughly 2,500miles above the Earth's surface.

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Although that sounds like quite the distance, it is tiny in astronomical terms.

It makes the space rock the fourth-nearest of 35,000 past and future Earth approaches, according to data collected by NASA's Centre for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) for the 300 years from 1900 to 2200.

It also means the asteroid will come within 3% of the average distance between the Earth and the moon.

According to the CNEOS data, the space rock only measures between 12.4ft and 27.8ft across, meaning it would be of little threat even if it was heading for Earth.

NASA states asteroids smaller than 82ft (25m) across will most likely burn up when they enter Earth's atmosphere, leading to little or no damage on the ground.

Regardless, space boffins ruled out the possibility of collision this week.

However, the asteroid will come into our atmosphere – specifically the exosphere, the outermost layer that extends some 6,000miles.

You will be able to watch the asteroid whiz past our planet on a livestream courtesy of robotic, remote-controlled telescopes. They are part of the Virtual Telescope Project (VTP) being operated by the Bellatrix Astronomical Observatory in Ceccano, Italy.

The live feed is due to start on Thursday (January 26) at 7.15pm.

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