Asteroid travelling at more than 40,000mph to reach its closest point to Earth today | Science & Tech News

An asteroid is whipping past Earth today, travelling at more than 40,000 miles per hour.

NASA says the asteroid will pass just 936,000 miles away from Earth, a relatively close-shave in space terms.

It’s the closest the asteroid, known as 2024 MT-1, will come to the planet during its orbit around the sun – however, it poses no risk to life on Earth.

2024 MT-1 takes around 1.2 years to orbit the sun and is just over 79 metres wide. For context, Westminster Abbey’s tower height is about 68m.

An asteroid is a relatively small rock that orbits the sun, usually made up of dusty, metallic and rocky materials.

Most of them orbit within the main asteroid belt which is between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, but some follow paths that circulate into the inner solar system, including 2024 MT-1.

NASA’s Planetary Defence office watches asteroids and meteors that may pose a threat to life on Earth.

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An object larger than about 150 metres that can approach the Earth within 4.6 million miles is deemed “a potentially hazardous object” by the agency.

2024 MT-1 does not meet that criteria as it is too small.

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In June, NASA tracked five small asteroids came closer to Earth than the moon and said around 100 tonnes of dust and sand-sized particles bombard our planet every day.