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‘Potentially hazardous’ asteroid to fly by Earth today

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An artist’s conception of an asteroid field. Stock photo

An artist’s conception of an asteroid field. Stock photo

An artist’s conception of an asteroid field. Stock photo

A “potentially hazardous” asteroid will be shooting near the Earth today .

The space rock, called 2015FF, has an estimated diameter of 13 to 28 metres.

Travelling near the Earth at 33,010kph, it will fly past the planet at a distance of 4.3 million kilometres away.

Nasa defines any object that comes within 7.5 million kilometres of Earth as “potentially hazardous”. Anything that comes within 193 million kilometres of Earth is categorised as a “near-Earth object”.

An unexpected impact from another asteroid could send the rock towards Earth.

Earth has early-warning systems in case of a collision.

In March the European Space Agency’s planetary defence community saw an asteroid before it struck Earth.

And a week-long exercise led by Nasa concluded that catastrophe would be unavoidable if a massive asteroid was heading to Earth, even given six months to prepare. “We would not be able to launch any spacecraft on such short notice,” the researchers said. (© Independent News Service)

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