A giant asteroid will whiz past the earth today, NASA has said. The asteroid, called 7482 (1994 PC1), measures more than a kilometer in width (approximately 3,450 feet) - making it larger than any building on earth. For comparison, the tallest building on earth, the Burj Khalifa, measures 2,722 feet. NASA's Asteroid Watch Twitter account said that PC1 has been studied by astronomers for decades and will not pose a threat to earth. At its closest, the asteroid will still be five lunar distances, which is five times the moon's distance from Earth.
"Rest assured, 1994 PC1 will safely fly past our planet 1.2 million miles away," NASA tweeted. According to Space.com, the asteroid will make its closest approach on January 18 at 4.51 pm EST. In terms of Indian Standard Time, that would mean around 2.45 am on January 19. The asteroid will be travelling at a speed of around 45,000 miles per hour.
You can watch 1994 PC1's journey through our solar system on NASA's live asteroid tracker, using the link below:
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
Track it yourself here: https://t.co/JMAPWiirZhpic.twitter.com/35pgUb1anq
On social media, news of the approaching asteroid created a huge buzz. Take a look at some of the reactions:
A huge asteroid bigger than the size of Burj Khalifa is set to fly past Earth at a 1,230,000-mile distance on January 18. The asteroid 7482, also known as 1994 PC1, is about 1.6 km wide and has been categorised by US space agency Nasa as a “potentially hazardous object”.— Rajrishi Dubey (@Imrajrishi_) January 18, 2022
Its quadruple vaccinated so it can come in if it wants👍🏼— stumcq (@Mcqstu) January 17, 2022
That is a near miss… I hope that maths was ok, right?— Don_Boh (@frakimo) January 15, 2022
Ready for that asteroid to hit earth now.— Vairon Perez - Is it 2023 yet? (@vaironp) January 18, 2022
A lot of people were reminded of the recently-released Netflix film Don't Look Up, in which two scientists try to convince the United States government of the threat posed by a rapidly-approaching asteroid.
Oh, just hit us and get it over with. #DontLookUp— Bette_Blackwell (@BetteBlackwel15) January 17, 2022
As long as we dont acknowledge it, it can't hurt us.— JB(I/Me) (@_john92_) January 13, 2022
January 13, 2022
Asteroid 7482 (1994 PC1) was discovered by astronomer Robert McNaught in 1994. After it flies by the earth today, it is not expected to be this close to our planet until the next century.Click for more trending news