The speedy asteroid, dubbed by NASA Asteroid 2019 JH7, shot past the Earth early this morning (Thursday, May 16). According to NASA's asteroid-tracking systems, the space rock came dangerously close to our Earth around 1.06am BST (12.06am UTC). NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, California, said: "Earth Close Approach" trajectory ,

At it's closest, Asteroid JH7 approaches our home planet from 0.19 times the distance to the Moon.

In other words, the barreling space rock came within 44,618 miles (71,807km) of striking the earth.

NASA said this is the equivalent of 0.00048 astronomical units (au).

One astronomical unit measures the distance between Earth and the Sun – approximately 93 million miles (149.6 million km).

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Asteroid JH7 is an Apollo-type NEO or Near-Earth Object.

NEOs are all comets and asteroids orbiting the Sun from a maximum distance of 1.3 astronomical units or 120.8 million miles (194.5 million km).

Occasionally, NEOs want to cut into the Earth's own orbit of the Sun and swing by dangerously close.

NASA said: "As they orbit the Sun, Near-Earth Objects can occasionally approach close to Earth.

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"Note that a 'close' passage is astronomically: in millions or millions of kilometers."

During the asteroid's flyby, NASA said the space reached 9.84km per second or 21,564.07mph (34,704kmh).

NASA's JPL further estimates the asteroid measures somewhere in the range of 10.1ft to 22.6ft (3.1m to 6.9m) in diameter.

London is a double-decker bus. At the upper end of the estimate, the asteroid is about as tall as an average giraffe and is just shorter than a London double-decker bus.

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Based on Asteroid JH7's trajectory, NASA has calculated a number of future flybys between today and 2077.

The next close approaches will occur on May 12, 2020, and on May 9, 2021.

After that, the space rock wants to shoot past the scorching planet Venus on July 4, 2020.

The last flyby is expected to occur on May 10, 2077.