Two Huge Asteroids the Size of the Great Pyramid of Giza Are Set to Pass Earth over next 2 Weeks

Two large asteroids will pass Earth in the next two weeks, with one measuring up to 426 feet in diameter and the other 656 feet—comparable in size to ancient Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza, which is 455 feet tall.

The first, smaller asteroid will pass by Earth on September 25 at a distance of 3.6 million miles, according to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies, which tracks and predicts asteroids and comets that will come close to Earth. The second larger asteroid will fly by on September 29 at a closer distance of 1.78 million miles.

For perspective, the distance to the moon from Earth is 238,900 miles.

These two asteroids, named 2020 RO and 2020 PM7, are the largest to pass Earth over the next two weeks.

Between Friday and October 2, 21 asteroids will pass by Earth. Three are due to pass Friday, two on Saturday and three on Sunday. The closest encounter over the next 14 days will be 2020 RA6, which is 121 feet wide and will pass Earth on Friday at a distance of 324,000 miles.

According to NASA, almost one million asteroids have been identified. Since its Near Earth Object (NEO) program was launched in 1998, the space agency has found more than 90 percent of the asteroids are larger than 3,200 feet wide, with "a large fraction" of those over 460 feet.

The agency works to characterize NEOs and to assess impact risk and plan planetary defense strategies in case of a potential collision. While NASA and other space agencies around the world have charted many of the asteroids that pass Earth, there are still many that are unknown.

This was made apparent last summer, when an asteroid the size of a football field passed our planet with very little warning. The asteroid, named 2019 OK, came within 40,400 miles of Earth on July 24—the same day it was discovered by astronomers. Researchers later charted the asteroids path and found this would be the closest encounter we would have with 2019 OK for the next 200 years.

Earth is hit by about 100 tons of dust and particles every day. A rock the size of a football field hits the planet roughly once every 2,000 years.

The chances of a large impact event are very low. It is estimated that an asteroid measuring 3,200 feet hits Earth, on average, once every 600,000 years, according to MIT.

The biggest asteroid to pass Earth in the next year will make its close approach on March 21, 2021. It is up to one mile wide and will pass by at a distance of around 1.2 million miles.

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Stock image representing an asteroid passing Earth. Two asteroids over 400 feet wide will pass Earth over the next two weeks. iStock