A massive asteroid that is twice the size of Big Ben is expected to hit the Earth’s orbit next week with NASA branding it as “potentially hazardous”.

Asteroids are not uncommon to pass by Earth with five space rocks set to come close to us this month.

However, the only one of staggering size and close distance is set to arrive in Earth’s orbit on Tuesday, January 11.

NASA is expecting asteroid 2013 YD48 to come close to 340ft, which is much larger than the famous London landmark Big Ben.

Although the space agency believes it will come close, it is still 3,480,000 miles away from the planet.

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A huge 340ft asteroid is set to enter Earth’s orbit next week

Any large objects that come within 4.65 million miles of our Earth are immediately categorised as “potentially hazardous”.

Astronomers and NASA are now carefully watching the asteroid for any movement that would cause it to stray away from its expected route.

Scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have been tracking objects via an ‘Asteroid Watch’ dashboard.

The technology allows them to detect any fast-moving objects in space and be able to estimate their intended path.

The asteroid is expected to be twice the size of Big Ben

Other asteroids set to fly past earth included a 200ft one named 2021 YQ and another called 2021 YX, which are both expected to pass today.

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A 24ft comet named 2014 YE15 will also enter our orbit on January 6 and a smaller 13ft comet called 2020 AP1 coming following it the day after.

The last asteroid to come close to earth is on January 19 called (7482) 1994 PC1 and has been a regular visitor to our orbit, coming past every 47 years.

There are five asteroids set to come close to Earth in January

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According to Nasa’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, (7482) 1994 PC1 is around two-and-a half times the height of the empire state building.

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NASA said last year that it is paying close attention to an asteroid named 16 Psyche, which is made up of metal.

According to the space agency, the asteroid is believed to be made up of metallic iron, nickel and gold core.

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