New Year’s asteroid the size of skyscraper to crash into Earth’s atmosphere

An asteroid the size of a skyscraper is set to collide with the Earth's atmosphere early in the new year.

The huge rock has been labelled as "a potentially hazardous object" by space experts from NASA as it's going to pass within 4.6 million miles from Earth.

The organisation has decided to name it Asteroid 2013 YD48 and is set to pass within 3.48 million miles (5.6 million km) of our planet on January 11.

It is approximately 340ft (104m) wide, which is the same size as the River Tower at Christina Landing – a 27-floor skyscraper which is the tallest building in the US state of Delaware.

Although the distance the asteroid will pass by the Earth seems far, it isn't in respect of space terms.

It has been reported that NASA regards anything passing within 120 million miles of our planet as a Near-Earth Object (NEO).

Scientists track thousands of NEO's to observe whether they're too close and on a collision to Earth, as it is thought that the tiniest change to their trajectories could be a catastrophe for our planet.

There are three more smaller asteroids that are also set to pass closely by Earth before 2013 YD48.

These are 2021 YK, which measures 38ft (12m) wide and will get to within 118,000 miles of our planet on Sunday.

Then there's 2014 YE15, which measures 24ft (7m) wide and will pass by on January 6, getting within 4.6 million miles (7.4 million km) of Earth.

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Third is 2020 AP1, which is the smallest of the four at 13ft (4m) wide, passing by on January 7, at a distance of 1.08 million miles (1.74 million km).

Earlier this week, a massive asteroid nearly three times the size of Big Ben brushed past Earth.

The space rock passed within 1.9 million miles of Earth, at a whopping speed of 47,000 miles per hour.

Similarly, an asteroid thought to be 10 times bigger than this year's Rockefeller Christmas tree in New York passed by Earth on Christmas Eve.

The huge rock, measuring 750ft (229m) passed within 4 million miles from our planet.

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