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A 1,600-foot-wide asteroid will approach Earth in a few hours, according to astronomers.

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NASA scientists believe that a massive 1,600-foot broad asteroid, larger than New York City's Empire State Building, will approach perilously close to Earth in 72 hours.

On Sunday, May 15, the space rock, identified as 388945 (2008 TZ3), will make its closest approach.

The space rock's diameter is estimated to be between 1,150 and 2,560 feet (350 and 780 metres) by NASA's Near Earth Object (NEO) programme. It is currently moving through space at a speed of around 23,300 miles per hour (37,400 kilometres an hour).

According to Live Science, its closest approach to Earth will be 30 times faster than the speed of sound, and it will pass within 2 million miles of Earth's orbit (3.2 million kilometres).

However, because the Earth will keep it 3.5 million miles away from us, the risk to people will be virtually non-existent.

According to The New York Times, NASA has been keeping a close eye on the rock and has announced that it will be a "close approach" in orbit.

This isn't the first time that this asteroid has been close to Earth. It got much closer in 2020, at 1.7 million miles.

The asteroid passed through Earth without incident. It sends Earth a wave every two years as it orbits the Sun like our planet.

It will pass by again in May 2024, but this time at a distance of 6.9 million miles.

It won't be until May 2163 that it comes close to what it did this weekend.

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