THREE asteroids measuring between 14ft and 232.9ft (4.3m to 71m) in diameter will shoot past the Earth at breakneck speeds, NASA’s asteroid trackers have revealed.
The three asteroids are on orbital trajectories known as “Earth Close Approaches”. The first of the three asteroids, so-called Asteroid 2019 CY2, already zipped past the planet just after 3.30am GMT (UTC). NASA predicts the next two space rocks, Asteroid 2019 CG4 and Asteroid 2017 PV25, will flyby shortly after, around noon and 1pm GMT later today. The space agency’s Astronomers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have narrowed the passages down to 11.55am GMT and 12.43pm GMT respectively.
Asteroid CY2 is the fastest of the three asteroids, swinging past the planet at breakneck speeds of around 29,415mph or 13.15km per second.
Thankfully, the asteroid did not hit our home world despite making an incredibly close approach.
At its closest, NASA estimates the rock came within 1.9 million miles (3.07 million km) of striking Earth.
This is the equivalent of eight times the distance from the Earth to the Moon.
NASA's initial size estimates show Asteroid CY2 measures somewhere in the range of 39.4ft to 85.3ft (12m to 26m) in diameter.
Asteroid CG4, which will zip by just before noon, is the smallest of the asteroids and would pose a minimal amount of danger if it were on a direct collision course with Earth.
At its closest, CG4 will approach Earth from 0.00459 astronomical units (au) or 426,667 miles (686,654km).
Astronomical units are used to define the average distance from the Earth to the Sun – about 93 million miles (149.6 million km).