Asteroid the size of Great Pyramid of Giza to zip past Earth today

An asteroid nearly as big as the Great Pyramid of Giza will skim past Earth closer than the Moon today.

The space rock, called 2019 OD, has a diameter of up to 120 metres, and is travelling at a speed of 19.17 kilometres per second (42,882 miles per hour), according to NASA.

It will pass Earth at a minimum distance of roughly 219,748 miles, which may sound like a long way, but is closer than the Moon – counting as a close scrape in astronomical terms.

2019 OD is actually one of three asteroids that will make a "close approach" to Earth tomorrow, according to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) .

A much smaller asteroid the size of Nelson's Column, known as 2019 OE, will pass at 2.5 times the distance of the Moon (601,917 miles).

Another large asteroid, known as 2015 HM10, with a diameter of up to 110 metres, will also pass at a much greater distance of 2,914,043 miles.

NASA said there is currently no known asteroid with a significant probability of impacting Earth in the next century.

However, NASA chief Jim Bridenstine has warned that a killer asteroid could smash into the Earth within our lifetime, unless we do more to protect the planet.

Speaking at the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference in Washington earlier this year, the NASA administrator cautioned against the so-called "giggle factor" when it comes to asteroids.

"We have to make sure that people understand that this is not about Hollywood, it's not about the movies," Bridenstine said.

"This is about ultimately protecting the only planet we know, right now, to host life – and that is the planet Earth."

NASA has already detailed its plans to knock an asteroid off course by sending a spacecraft to deliberately crash into it.

The mission, called the   Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)   , aims to demonstrate NASA's capability to deflect any space rocks that are found to be on a collision course with Earth.

The space agency expects to launch the spacecraft in June 2021, with the aim of colliding with an asteroid known as Didymoon in October 2022.

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