NASA tracking two asteroids set to collide with Earth’s orbit just hours apart

NASA is tracking two 100m asteroids set to collide with Earth’s orbit within hours of each other, the Centre for Near Earth Objects has confirmed.

The space administration regularly monitors asteroids flying through space and tracks any comet or asteroid that hurtles at 1.3 astronomical units – the average distance between Earth and the Sun.

Both asteroids are classed as Apollo asteroids, the name given to space rocks which cross the orbit of the Earth.

The first asteroid to cross Earth's path is asteroid 2020 RO, which is estimated to be between 59m and 130m wide.

NASA said the rock will pass on September 25 2020 at 00:10 EST at a speed of 11.84km per second, which is equivalent to 26,000mph.

Although it is classed as a near Earth object, and will come into contact with Earth's orbit, the asteroid is expected to pass safely.

The second space rock, labelled 2020 SM, is expected to rocket past Earth on the same date at 2020 R0 – September 25 2020.

It will zoom through Earth's orbit at a speed of 18.43 km per second, which is equivalent to over 41,000mph.

The asteroid is slightly smaller than 2020 RO and is estimated to be between 45m and 100m wide.

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NASA's team of astronomers are currently tracking around 2,000 asteroids, comets and other objects that could fly close to Earth.

According to NASA, a NEO is also a term used to describe "comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood."

Earth hasn't seen an asteroid of apocalyptic scale since the space rock that wiped out the dinosaurs 66million years ago.

Most asteroids will not come into contact with Earth's atmosphere, but in rare instances the giant space rocks can cause problems for weather systems.

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