asteroid earth
© Getty Images
An artist's impression of an earth-threatening asteroid
The asteroid, dubbed 2019 SR8, is estimated by NASA to measure between 20 metres and 44 metres in diameter

An asteroid the size of Nelson's Column skimmed past Earth this morning, NASA has revealed.

The asteroid, dubbed 2019 SR8, is estimated to measure between 20 metres and 44 metres in diameter.

At the higher end of that estimate, it would mean the space rock is roughly the same size as London's iconic Nelson's Column.

During its passing, which took place at 3.45am on Wednesday, the asteroid was travelling at a staggering speed of almost 22,000 miles per hour.

Thankfully, the asteroid was just over three million miles from out planet at that time.

While this might sound far, in astronomical terms, it's defined by NASA as a 'close approach', meaning 2019 SR8 is considered a 'near-Earth object.'

And 2019 SR8 isn't the only asteroid to zip past our planet this week. On Friday five asteroids are expected to make close approaches with Earth, according to NASA.

The largest of the five, called 2019 TM7, is estimated to measure up to 95 metres in diameter, meaning it could be as tall as London's Big Ben.