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430-foot asteroid expected to swipe past Earth on Monday

By Simon Druker
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430-foot asteroid expected to swipe past Earth on Monday
The 430-foot-asteroid 1994 WR12 is expected to safely pass by Earth on Monday. This illustration depicts the approach of NASA's DART spacecraft to its planned collision with the Dimorphos asteroid, which is a tiny moonlet of the asteroid Didymos. File Image courtesy of Johns Hopkins University

Nov. 29 (UPI) -- An asteroid that measures the same size as the height of the Great Pyramid of Giza, is expected to pass by Earth on Monday afternoon, according to NASA.

The 430-foot asteroid, 1994 WR12, will pass by our planet at a distance of 3.8 million miles.

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The space rock was first identified in 1994 by American astronomer Carolyn S. Shoemaker.

NASA's official measurement puts the asteroid at closer to 390 feet and says it will whisk past Earth by 3.82 million miles.

The asteroid was classified as an earth impact risk by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Center for Near Earth Object Studies until 2016.

Astronomers believe the asteroid's impact on Earth would produce energy equivalent to 77 megatons of TNT. That would make it 112 times more powerful than the Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated.

This comes days after NASA successfully launched a rocket into space with a payload of a spacecraft that will next fall slam into an asteroid, in a first-of-its-kind planetary defense test.

Three smaller asteroids are also expected to pass earth on Tuesday, with the largest of those measuring about 64 feet.

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