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News Link • Natural Disasters

'Potentially hazardous' asteroid the size of the Burj Khalifa is heading towards Earth...

• http://www.dailymail.co.uk, By Phoebe Weston

The 2002 AJ129 asteroid has been classed a 'potentially hazardous' by Nasa and will fly past at speeds of 67,000mph (107,826kmh).

This makes it nearly 15 times faster than the world's quickest manned aircraft - the hypersonic North American X-15, which travelled at 4,520mph (7,300kmh).  

The asteroid is around 0.7 miles (1.1km) wide - making it longer than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands at 0.5 miles high (0.8km).

It is set to pass by our planet on the 4th February at a distance of around 2,615,128 miles (4,208,641km) away - which is relatively close in space terms.

For reference, the distance between the Earth and the moon is 238,855 miles (384,400 km). 

Nasa describes asteroids as 'hazardous' if they come within 4,600,000 miles (7,403,00km) of our planet. 

It is the largest space rock to brush past our planet this year and previous research has found a rock of this size could plunge Earth into a mini-ice age if it hit.

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