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Asteroid would have devastating impact

ASTEROID 2005 YU55, which is nearly three times the length of a rugby field, will come within 325,000km of Earth - 85,000 km closer than the moon - at 12.25pm tomorrow.

Experts have agreed that the chances of a collision with Earth are non-existent.

But if NASA's predictions were a few thousand kilometres off, a collision would create a 40m tsunami that would travel around the world and shoot material into the sky that would block out the sun for most of the globe, according to astronomy educator David Britten.

As far as 30km from the impact site a 7.2 magnitude earthquake would be felt. Railways, buildings and water reservoirs would be destroyed, clothing would ignite and asteroid fragments as large as 1m could rain down from the sky.

Read more on the NZ Herald.


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