The speedy asteroid belongs to a family of objects formally classified as near-Earth objects or NEOs.

NASA said: “Some asteroids and comets follow orbital paths that take them much closer to the Sun and therefore Earth – than usual.

“If a comet or asteroid’s approach brings it to within 1.3 astronomical units of the Sun, we call it a near-Earth object.

“One astronomical unit is close to the mean distance between the Sun and Earth approximately 150 million kilometres – about 93 million miles.”

The space agency warned the gravitational tug of the planets can sometimes shift an asteroid’s orbit and send it hurtling directly into Earth.



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