Earth just had a near-miss with a 'city killer' asteroid

(NASA)

An asteroid dubbed a 'city-killer' narrowly missed colliding into the Earth, say scientists.

Asteroid 2019 OK - around 100 metres in diameter and racing at 24 kilometres a second - raced past earth at around 11.22am on Thursday morning.

Astronomers had no idea the rock was heading towards our planet, due to the asteroid flying towards us from the direction of the sun.

Associate Professor Michael Brown, from Monash University, said: "It's impressively close. I don't think it's quite sunk in yet. It's a pretty big deal.

"[If it hit Earth] it makes the bang of a very large nuclear weapon – a very large one."

Three other asteroids also raced past Earth on Thursday, but none were as close or as large as 2019 OK.

The asteroid was picked up by separate astronomy teams based in Brazil and the US over the past few days.

Swinburne University astronomer Associate Professor Alan Duffy: "It would have hit with over 30 times the energy of the atomic blast at Hiroshima.

"It's a city-killer asteroid. But because it's so small, it's incredibly hard to see until right at the last minute.

"It's threading tightly between the lunar orbit. Definitely too close for comfort."

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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