Asteroid 'Nine Times Size of QE2' To Pass By Earth (VIDEO)

An asteroid approximately 1.7miles in length, nine times the length of the QE2 cruise ship, is set pass by Earth at the end of May, according to Nasa.

Have no fear though, for the giant space rock shouldn't come any closer than 3.6million miles, or 15 times the distance from Earth to the Moon.

The asteroid, named Asteroid 1998 QE2, will give astronomers the chance to get a close look at the size, shape and features of the asteroid and maybe find out more about its origin.

In a statement, Nasa astronomer Lance Benner said: "Asteroid 1998 QE2 will be an outstanding radar imaging target at Goldstone and Arecibo [observatories] and we expect to obtain a series of high-resolution images that could reveal a wealth of surface features,"

"We will also use new radar measurements of the asteroid's distance and velocity to improve our calculation of its orbit and compute its motion farther into the future than we could otherwise."

The asteroid was discovered in 1998 by the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology and, despite the comparisons, was not named for the QE2 cruise ship. It's size has instead been more accurately compared to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

The asteroid will be at its closest at 9:59pm on Friday 31 May and then won't be as close for another 200 years.

In the mean time, check out some other amazing space photos below