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Massive asteroid to pass by Earth Tuesday

Posted at 7:47 AM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 13:23:46-05

Astronomers are keeping an eye on a huge, "possibly hazardous" asteroid that will pass close by the Earth on Tuesday.

Around 4:51 p.m., the asteroid known as 7482 (1994 PC1) will pass by our planet at a distance of about five times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

"Near-Earth #asteroid 1994 PC1 (~1 km wide) is very well known and has been studied for decades by our #PlanetaryDefense experts," NASA tweetedlast Wednesday. "Rest assured, 1994 PC1 will safely fly past our planet 1.2 million miles away next Tues., Jan. 18."

1994 PC1 is larger than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and more than twice the size of the Empire State Building in New York City, with a diameter of 3,451 feet.

According to NASA, it will be moving at a speed of around 45,000 mph when it passes by Earth on Tuesday.

If you want to keep an eye on the space rock, NASA's "eyes on asteroid" webpage is now tracking it. It will also be shown live on the Virtual Telescope Project's livestream, which will begin at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Astronomer Robert McNaught found 1994 PC1 at the Siding Spring observatory in Australia in 1994.

According to Universe Today, a space and astronomy news website, the asteroid won't approach close to Earth again for another two millennia after Tuesday's visit.