An asteroid reaching the size of the Giza pyramid will come within 750,000 miles of Earth

An asteroid that could be larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza is expected to close in on Earth later this month, having only been discovered in April.

The space rock, dubbed 2022 GU6, will arrive about 750,000 miles from our planet on June 12 at around 8:01 a.m. ET, according to figures from NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).

This is a relatively close approach for a near-Earth object (NEO) although there is no chance of 2022 GU6 colliding with our planet this time. The asteroid will fly by at about three times the average distance between Earth and the Moon.

Stock Images: An artist’s illustration of an asteroid and the Great Pyramid of Giza. A space rock that could be larger than the Great Pyramid is expected to pass Earth later this month.
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As it passes in front of us, the asteroid will travel at a staggering speed of almost 18,800 miles per hour, which is about nine times the speed of a rifle bullet and more than 20 times the speed of sound.

CNEOS figures show the asteroid is estimated to be between 216ft and 492ft in diameter, based on its observed magnitude in the sky.

At the upper end of this size range, the space rock would be larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza, which stands about 450 feet tall. It would also be slightly smaller than the Washington Monument, which is approximately 554 feet tall.

The space rock is one of more than 29,000 near-Earth objects scientists have identified so far. Near-Earth Object is a term used to refer to any astronomical body, whose orbits come close to that of the Earth, astronomically speaking.

The vast majority of these near-Earth objects are asteroids, most of which are small, although there are over a hundred comets included in this category.

Some near-Earth objects are classified as “potentially hazardous”, meaning they have orbits that are within 4.6 million miles of Earth’s own path around the sun, while measuring over 140 meters (about 460 feet) in diameter.

Potentially dangerous objects are large enough to produce significant damage on at least a regional scale in the event of impact with the Earth. However, none of the potentially dangerous near-Earth objects have any chance of colliding with Earth in the next century, according to CNEOS director Paul Chodas.

“The ‘Potentially Hazardous’ designation simply means that over several centuries and millennia, the asteroid’s orbit may evolve into an orbit that has a chance of impacting Earth. We are not evaluating these possibilities of long-term impact over several centuries,” said Paul Chodas, Director of CNEOS. Told Newsweek.

Towards the end of May, one of the largest asteroids to come close to Earth this year passed safely past our planet at a distance of about 2.5 million miles.