An asteroid measuring up to 45ft in diameter is set to speed past Earth at a distance of 162,000 miles just days after first being identified. The asteroid poses no threat to Earth, but its late discovery highlights the potential threat Near Earth Objects (NEOs) pose to the planet.
NEA 2017 BX is the second house-sized object to come close to Earth in just three weeks - Asteroid 2017 AG13 passed by at 120,000 miles on 9 January. In comparison, the Moon is 238,900 miles from Earth.
The forthcoming asteroid will make its close approach on 25 January. It is moving at 16,600mph and Nasa estimates it to be between 20 and 45ft wide.
Its flyby will be broadcast live online via the Slooh telescope in the Canary Islands. The event will be accompanied by astronomers discussing the asteroid's size, speed and composition.
They will also explain why asteroids like 2017 BX are often not detected until they come close to Earth. The livestream will begin at 5.30pm EST (10.30pm GMT).
Many space agencies around the globe are currently investing in asteroid-tracking technology. It is estimated we have detected only 1% of asteroids bigger than 40m that could pose a risk to Earth, although we know of around 90% of the biggest NEOs.
The potential risk asteroids pose to Earth was highlighted in February 2013 when the Chelyabinsk meteor crashed down in Russia. The meteor, about 60ft in diameter, exploded about 14 miles above ground, the shockwave from which damaged over 7,000 buildings across six cities.