#Asteroid tracker: #NASA monitor 2021 AU space rock to skim past our planet ...

ASTEROID trackers at NASA have confirmed remarkable cosmic debris is about to approach our planet at an unusually close distance on Thursday.

PUBLISHED: 08:42, Wed, Jan 6, 2021 | UPDATED: 08:44, Wed, Jan 6, 2021

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Asteroid experts at US-based space agency NASA have confirmed how the anomaly dubbed 2021 AU will make an extremely close cosmic flyby tomorrow evening. At its MOID (Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance), the rogue space rock will be a ‘mere’ 0.00887 AU (Astronomical Units) away from our world.


An astronomical unit is a unit of length used by space scientist to describe the approximate distance from Earth to the Sun.

This measurement is therefore roughly equivalent to 93 million miles (150 million km).

The asteroid is consequently expected to safely skim past our blue planet at 824,518 miles (1,326,933km) distant.

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This may seem to some to be an extraordinarily excessive distance for the extraterrestrial object to be categorised as a Near Earth Object (NEO) by NASA.

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Asteroid tracker: NASA monitor 2021 AU space rock to skim past our planet this weekAsteroid tracker: NASA is monitoring 2021 AU space rock which will skim past our planet this week (Image: Getty)

difference between asteroid and cometAsteroid tracker: The anomaly dubbed 2021 AU will make an extremely close cosmic flyby this afternoon (Image: Express)

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However, this term is technically correct, especially when the inconceivable scale of space is taken into consideration.

To put this into celestial context, the average distance between Earth and its Moon is 238,855 miles (384,400 km).

As its name indicates, the recently-discovered 2021 AU will be at its closest to Earth on Thursday, January 6, at 11.27pm GMT (3:27pm PT), before it continues it elliptical orbit around the solar system.

Unfortunately, despite the relatively unusual nature of its flyby, the asteroid cannot be viewed from Earth with

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