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'Monster' asteroid 4 times than the UK is so close to Earth you can see it - and here's how

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File photo: Dwarf planet Ceres is seen in the main asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, as illustrated in this undated artist's conception released by NASA January 22, 2014.  REUTERS/NASA/ESA/Handout via Reuters

File photo: Dwarf planet Ceres is seen in the main asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, as illustrated in this undated artist's conception released by NASA January 22, 2014. REUTERS/NASA/ESA/Handout via Reuters

An enormous asteroid has come so close to Earth that it is visible to the naked eye.

The space rock, known as 4 Vesta is four times the size of the UK and so bright that it can be spotted from 106 million miles away.

It is visible in both hemispheres, where it can be seen in the night sky near Mars, Saturn and the Sagittarius constellation.

The asteroid measures more than 326 miles in diameter, 50 times wider than the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs, will be visible in the night sky until July 16.

 

Vesta was first discovered in 1807 and was named after the Roman goddess of the hearth and home, who is sister to Ceres – the name of the largest asteroid in the belt, which measures 587 miles in diameter.

Ceres was recently reclassified as a dwarf planet.

The rock resides in the asteroid belt and is one of the largest known to man.

From Earth, the immense stone appears as a dim yellow dot.

 

Vesta easy to spot compared to other asteroids in the same belt as its surface is more reflective than the moon.

The asteroid belt is a ring of space debris that orbits around the sun and between Mars and Jupiter.

Most recently, Vesta came closer to our planet than it has in 20 years.

The surface of the asteroid is pockmarked with craters believed to have been caused by a large smash the rock took in its formative years.

The largest crater is 285 miles in diameter.

Vesta is also known for having one of the tallest peaks ever seen by humans, a 13-mile  high mountain that stands on its south pole.

It is almost as high as the highest mountain in the solar system, Olympus Mons on Mars which is 15 miles high.

Mount Everest is just 5.5 miles tall.

This story originally appeared in The Sun.

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