A CAPTIVATING video has laid bare the shocking scale of some of the largest asteroids in the Solar System.
Crafted by Spanish 3D artist Alvaro Gracia Montoya, the clip reveals how big nearly two dozen nearby space rocks are compared to New York City.
Some of the asteroids in the clip, such as Apophis, are expected to skim dangerously close to Earth within the the next century.
The video was posted to the YouTube channel MetaBallStudios earlier this month.
In total, 22 asteroids are lined up in order of size against a grey silhouette of New York.
They range from the mini space rock 2008 TC3 – only double the height of the average man – all the way to the ginormous asteroid Ceres.
Drifting in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, Ceres is so big (about a third the size of the Moon) that it's technically a dwarf planet.
In between those two extremes we see space rocks only a little taller than a house all the way to objects big enough to flatten New York.
Two of the asteroids, Apophis and Hermes, have been previously branded "potentially dangerous" by Nasa.
Hermes, which is 2,600ft long, has come "harrowingly close" to Earth several times over the past century, according to the space agency.
It would tower over One World Trade Centre, New York's tallest building, according to the video.
Hermes has sparked alarm among scientists because it has a knack for zipping past Earth without anyone noticing.
"It's a little unnerving," Paul Chodas, of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Lab, said in 2003.
"Hermes has sailed by Earth so many times and we didn't even know it."
Hermes is expected to perform several close flybys over the next century, though estimates suggest it will not collide with Earth.
The closest the asteroid has come to a direct hit was a flyby in 1980 that saw it pass 300,000 miles from Earth's orbit, only a little more than the distance to the Moon.
Also featured in the video is Apophis, which at 1,200ft long dwarfs many of New York's tallest buildings.
The asteroid is named after the Egyptian god of chaos and darkness and is expected to make a close pass of Earth in 2036 and 2068.
What's the difference between an asteroid, meteor and comet?
Here's what you need to know, according to Nasa…
- Asteroid: An asteroid is a small rocky body that orbits the Sun. Most are found in the asteroid belt (between Mars and Jupiter) but they can be found anywhere (including in a path that can impact Earth)
- Meteoroid: When two asteroids hit each other, the small chunks that break off are called meteoroids
- Meteor: If a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere, it begins to vapourise and then becomes a meteor. On Earth, it'll look like a streak of light in the sky, because the rock is burning up
- Meteorite: If a meteoroid doesn't vapourise completely and survives the trip through Earth's atmosphere, it can land on the Earth. At that point, it becomes a meteorite
- Comet: Like asteroids, a comet orbits the Sun. However rather than being made mostly of rock, a comet contains lots of ice and gas, which can result in amazing tails forming behind them (thanks to the ice and dust vapourising)
Russian scientists have previously expressed fears that Apophis, full name Apophis 99942, could one day smash into Earth at speeds of 15,000 miles per hour.
"Apophis has been one of those celestial bodies that has captured the public’s interest since it was discovered in 2004," said Nasa’s Steve Chesley.
"Updated computational techniques and newly available data indicate the probability of an Earth encounter on April 13, 2036, for Apophis has dropped from one-in-45,000 to about four-in-a million."
In other news, it recently emerged that an asteroid strike obliterated early human civilisations 13,000 years ago.
An asteroid that could have caused a violent "sky explosion" as powerful as 30 nukes zipped past Earth last month.
And, distant planets may host even more life than we have here on Earth, according to a shock study.
Are you worried about an asteroid strike? Let us know in the comments!
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