'Potentially hazardous' asteroid a half-mile wide to whizz past Earth on Tuesday

Planet Earth and big asteroid in the space. Concept a potentially hazardous object (PHO). Potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs). Asteroid in outer space near Earth planet. Stony-iron meteorite is solar system. Elements of this image furnished by NASA. ______ Url(s):
The asteroid is not going to hit our planet. (Getty)

A huge asteroid believed to be almost a half-mile wide will whizz past our planet on Tuesday.

The "potentially hazardous" space rock is called 2044 RM4 and has an estimated diameter of 1,083 to 2,428 feet, not far off 2,640 feet, or half a mile.

The asteroid will reach its closest approach to Earth on 1 November, LiveScience reported.

It will pass our planet at 52,500mph, 1.43 million miles away – six times the distance between Earth and the moon.

Amateur astronomer Tony Dunn said on Twitter earlier this month: "No danger, but newly-discovered asteroid 2022 RM4 will pass less than six lunar distances on 1 November. Possibly as wide as 740 meters, it will brighten to mag 14.3, well within reach of backyard telescopes. This is very close for an asteroid this size."

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It’s classified as "potentially hazardous" due to the fact it repeatedly flies past Earth fairly nearby, but it poses no threat in the immediate future.

Astronomy expert Kelly Kizer Whitt, of EarthSky, said: "The Pan-STARRS 2 telescope in Hawaii discovered a new asteroid on 12 September 2022 that might be as large as a half-mile wide.

"Additional observations, including some on 5 October 2022, from Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona, confirmed the asteroid's path. The Minor Planet Center has given the asteroid the designation 2022 RM4."

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An impact with a rock of this size could plunge the Earth into a mini-Ice Age, Nasa warned in a 2016 study.

Temperatures could fall by up to 8C and the effects could last for up to 10 years due to soot in the atmosphere.

"These would not be pleasant times," said Charles Bardeen, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

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