Huge asteroid double the size of Empire State Building to enter Earths orbit

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An enormous asteroid roughly twice the size of the Empire State Building is currently hurtling towards Earth's orbit.

NASA has been tracking this latest space rock, called 2010 RJ53, since September 2010.

This comes days after it was announced that a slightly smaller asteroid will enter our atmosphere on Sunday.

It spans roughly 2540ft (774m) and should fly past us on September 9.

RJ53 circles between 58-139 million miles from the sun, and will whiz by Earth at a distance of more than two million miles.

A serious asteroid impact remains one of the worst possible natural disasters as there is very little we can do to stop one.

Hence, NASA's Planetary Defence Coordination Office (PDCO) works tirelessly to track any asteroids that could be headed our way.

One the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza flew past on July 25 this year, and another the size of the US Pentagon did similarly this month.

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These were tracked with advanced "asteroid hunter" telescopes.

The PDCO is also attempting to develop strategies to divert these goliath asteroids on the off chance that one may have its course set for Earth.

In July, China announced plans to test anti-asteroid rocket systems when it appeared that a 78 billion kilogram mass had a very slim chance of wiping us out.

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"[It is] possible to defend against large asteroids with a nuclear-free technique within 10 years," said researcher Li Mingtao.

NASA's answer to China's project is called HAMMER (Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response).

The Americans say they would need 25 years' warning to have a chance at stopping a doomsday asteroid, whereas the Chinese would only need a decade.

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  • Nasa
  • Space
  • Asteroids

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