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Asteroid bigger than Statue of Liberty to fly past Earth on Christmas, NASA says :

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An asteroid called 2014 SD224 fly 1.9 million miles away past Earth on Christmas, NASA said. It was discovered in 2014 and has a diameter of around 393 feet .

Asteroid measuring up to 690 feet in diameter

This is over twice the length of the 305-foot-tall Statue of Liberty in New York

The asteroid (2014 SD224) travelling at more than 22,000 miles per hour.

2014 SD224 has a diameter anywhere between 302 and 690 feet (92 to 210 metres) – meaning it could be more than twice the size of the Statue of Liberty (305 feet) or bigger than Salisbury Cathedral (404 feet).

As 2014 SD224 flies past Earth, it will be travelling at a speed of 10 kilometres per second or more than 22,000 miles per hour – roughly 30 times the speed of sound.

Despite being around eight times further out than the Moon, the asteroid is classed as a near Earth object (NEO) and is being tracked by the space agency. 

Although 2014 SD224 – which can be tracked on NASA's website – is at a distance of 1.9 million miles away, this is relatively close in astronomical terms.   

For this reason, 2014 SD224 is defined by NEO, although it's not expected to do damage.   

NEOs are an asteroid or comet whose orbit brings it into or through a zone between approximately 91 million and 121 million miles (195 million km) from the Sun, meaning that it can pass within about 30 million miles (50 million km) of Earth’s orbit. 

According to publicly available NASA data, there have been 24,629 NEOs discovered, as of Tuesday.

It is estimated that there are about 25,000 near-Earth objects (NEOs) larger than 460 feet (140 metres). 

And there are also an estimated 1,000 NEOs larger than 3,280 feet (one kilometre), highlighting the need to keep track of these space rocks. 

On average, Earth is hit by a football pitch-sized rock every 5,000 years, and a civilisation-ending asteroid every one million years, according to NASA's Near-Earth Object Program.