Asteroid to come 'damn close' to crashing into Earth

A meteor described as being the size of a house is expected to have a near-miss with Earth in October.

The huge rock is expected to whizz past at speeds of 50,400km/h - a whopping 14km per second - and come within 44,000km of our planet.

To those unfamiliar with astronomy, it probably doesn't sound as though the asteroid will be coming that close - but several space agencies are warning that it certainly is.

"It's damn close," said European Space Operations Centre head honcho Rolf Densing. "The farthest satellites are 36,000 kilometres out, so this is indeed a close miss."

The 44,000km distance between us on Earth and the asteroid is an eighth of the distance between our planet and the Moon.

The European Space Agency says it'll treat the close encounter as an "excellent opportunity to test the international ability to detect and track near-Earth objects and assess our ability to respond together to a real asteroid threat", according to a statement.

The asteroid is scheduled to be coming past on October 12, astronomers say.

In 2013, a meteoroid exploded in Chelyabinsk, central Russia, injuring 1200 people and shattering the windows of almost 5000 buildings.