Earth is being stalked by a giant 'Trojan asteroid' and humans could visit it, scientists confirm

A 'TROJAN' asteroid has been spotted following Earth.

Scientists have confirmed that a giant asteroid called ‘2020 XL5’ is following Earth's orbit.

This is only the second asteroid to be spotted sharing Earth's orbit.

The researchers think it's close enough to be visited by humans one day.

Trojan asteroids are known for sharing their orbit with a planet.

Asteroids like this were first spotted around Jupiter and were named after figures from the Trojan War.

Only one other Trojan asteroid has been spotted around Earth.

Scientists spotted the new Trojan candidate on December 12, 2020.

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Data has since confirmed that it is an Earth Trojan after all.

The research has just been published in the journal Nature Communications.

The researchers state: "Here we confirm that the recently discovered 2020 XL5 is the second transient Earth Trojan known."

Asteroid is said to be about 0.73 miles wide.

Luckily, it's not expected to impact Earth and should just follow closely behind us.

The researchers think humans could visit it one day and even build a base there.

They wrote: "These objects may become ideal targets for space missions and, in the more distant future, to settle human bases or install scientific hardware that would benefit from their peculiar location."

It's unclear where the asteroid came from.

It may have been flung our way by Jupiter.

Experts think the asteroid could share our orbit for the next 4,000 years.

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In other news, this week marks the anniversary of the first chimpanzee in space.

Nasa has revealed stunning footage of a solar flare in action.

And, the US space agency is planning for a 'golden asteroid' probing mission to launch this summer.

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