A giant space rock, bigger than any building on Earth, is expected to fly past the planet today, 18 January. Giving information about the same, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said that the 1994 PC 1 also known as asteroid 7482 is expected to safely pass by Earth at a distance of 1,230,000-miles.
Reports suggest that asteroid 1994 PC 1 has been classified as ‘potentially hazardous’ by NASA because of its closeness while shooting past the Earth. The asteroid has been studied by NASA’s planet defense experts for decades.
Check NASA’s tweet here:
Near-Earth #asteroid 1994 PC1 (~1 km wide) is very well known and has been studied for decades by our #PlanetaryDefense experts. Rest assured, 1994 PC1 will safely fly past our planet 1.2 million miles away next Tues., Jan. 18.
— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) January 12, 2022
According to a report by Hindustan Times, the giant space rock is about 1.6 km wide, which means it is twice the size of world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa (828 metres). An asteroid of this size has the potential to cause catastrophic damage on the Earth.
The American space agency puts asteroids in potentially hazardous category if they are over 140 meters in size with orbits of them as close as within 4.6 million miles of the orbit of Earth around the Sun.
Track asteroid 1994 PC 1 here.
NASA is keeping an eye on asteroid 1994 PC 1 for many decades and it is a Near-Earth Object since it is closer than 1.3 astronomical units (AU), with one AU being equivalent to 93 million miles.
However, the closest approach of asteroid 1994 PC 1 to Earth will occur at 4.51pm EST today (3.21am IST on January 19). As per Earthsky, it will be the closest approach for this giant space rock for at least the next 200 years.
The most recent space rock to strike the planet exploded in the atmosphere eight years ago near Russia.
Recently, the American space agency started a mission to deliberately crash a spacecraft into an asteroid as a test run to prevent a massive space rock from destroying life on Earth. In the fall of 2022, the spacecraft is expected to hit the asteroid.
Keywords: Asteroid, 1994 PC 1, asteroid 7482, NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration