A GIANT asteroid will skim Earth’s orbit tomorrow in a hair-raising near miss.
In a sprinkling of festive hope, astronomer Dr Franck Marchis said the rock — known as Nereus — is “not a threat” at the moment.
But he added: “Its orbit could be deflected by various things, such as an encounter with another asteroid or a planet like Venus.
“Any deviation could be an issue. It’s like if you have an evil neighbour — it’s in your interests to know where they are and what they’re doing.”
Brits will be able to see Nereus hurtling through the sky tomorrow and it will be closest to Earth at around 2.50pm — still a few million miles away.
But Dr Marchis, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute and chief scientific officer at Unistellar, said, theoretically, it were to hit Earth it would cause devastation.
Impact in Coventry, for instance, would wipe out most of the Midlands and cause damage as far as Leeds in the North and Southampton in the South.
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He added: “Things could go wrong — there is always a possibility — but it’s small. We are monitoring this so people can sleep easy.”
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