Boxing Day asteroid bigger than football pitch set to collide with Earth’s orbit

An asteroid estimated to be bigger than a football pitch will hurtle past Earth on Boxing Day.

NASA’s centre of Near Earth Object studies is tracking the space rock on its close approach list.

The asteroid, named 2012 XE133, will grace the skies at 21.58pm Eastern Standard Time, which is 2.58am Greenwich Mean Time.

Astrologists at the US space station have estimated the asteroid to be between 56m and 120m wide.

That means the asteroid is about the same size as a football pitch, which are typically between 90m and 120m in length.

It will be travelling at around nine kilometres per second, which is equivalent of around 20,400 miles per hour.

Asteroid XE133 has been classed as a member of the Aten asteroid family.

Aten asteroids are the type of space rock most likely to hit Earth, Space.com claims, because of their tendency to act erratically.

Thankfully, Boxing Day celebrations will not be disturbed as the asteroid is expected to pass Earth at a safe distance.

The asteroid will approach Earth at a distance of 12.9 lunar distance miles or 0.03 astronomical units from the Sun – this is roughly 2.8 million miles away from our planet.

  • NASA tracking Christmas Day asteroid hurtling towards Earth's orbit at 22,000mph

Anyone who received a telescope on Christmas Day will be disappointed, however, as it will not be able to be seen by the naked eye.

Astronomers are currently tracking nearly 2,000 asteroids, comets and other objects which threaten our planet.

Earth hasn't seen an asteroid of apocalyptic scale since the space rock which wiped out the dinosaurs 66million years ago.

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