An asteroid two and a half times the size of the Empire State Building is hurtling towards Earth, but it’s okay to look up.
That’s because it’s been on our radar for decades, which gives us plenty of time to compute its trajectory and confirm that it won’t collide with our planet and that civilization as we know it will end when it hits Tuesday, January 18th, flies past the earth.
As the name suggests, the asteroid (7482) was discovered in 1994 PC1 in 1994 and is classified as a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid” due to its size (3,280 feet or approximately 0.6 miles) and its proximity to Earth during previous flyby. Calculations.
On January 18 at 4:51 p.m. ET, the asteroid will be located 1.2 million miles (1.9 million kilometers) from Earth at a speed of about 43,000 miles per hour (69,200 km / h), a little more than five times the distance between the earth and the moon.
It means that unlike the folks in the hit Netflix movie Don’t look up, we have nothing to fear. And once it’s over, it won’t return for another 200 years (in the meantime, astronomers will be on the lookout for other potentially dangerous asteroids).
An exciting element of the 7482 1994 PC1 flyby next week is that people with a simple telescope will have a chance to spot it in the flyby. EarthSky Deals a detailed explanation about where and what to look out for when the asteroid approaches.
The possibility of a massive space rock one day hitting Earth is a very real concern that prompted NASA to embark on its DART mission, which aimed to plunge a spaceship directly into an asteroid in order to see if we can change his way. If the test achieves its goal of changing the asteroid’s course, the system could be a viable way for Earth to protect itself from dangerous objects heading straight for Earth in the future.
Digital Trends has an article with everything you need to know about the DART mission, launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California in November 2021.
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