Asteroid twice the size of the Empire State Building passes close to Earth
Don't Look Up - now in 4D
While we were all tucked away in bed, an asteroid twice the size of the Empire State Building was hurtling past Earth at 47,344 miles per hour.
The colossal rock, which is said to be a kilometre wide, passed Earth on Tuesday at around 9:51 pm, according to NASA.
Labelled as "potentially hazardous," the asteroid named 7482 passed within 1.2 million miles of our planet - which is actually much closer than you think when talking about space bodies.
While scientists first discovered 7482 in 1994 and named it PC1, which is still just as rubbish as 7482, NASA predicted that this is the closest it will come to our green and blue home in the next two centuries.
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.
Track it yourself here: https://t.co/JMAPWiirZh pic.twitter.com/35pgUb1anq
— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) January 12, 2022
"Rest assured, 1994 PC1 will safely fly past our planet 1.2 million miles away," NASA tweeted before the asteroid's due date.
The previous biggest hulk of rubble to pass by Earth was 3122 Florence (1981 ET3), which skimmed the planet on September 1 2017. It was believed to be between 2.5 and 5.5 miles wide.
However if you missed it, don't fear, for Florence will come back on September 2, 2057.
In November, NASA launched its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which was designed to nudge an asteroid off of its collision cause in case of an Armageddon-like situation.
The space agency released images from the missions a month later, calling it "a major operational milestone for the spacecraft and DART team."
The movie “Don’t Look Up” is a fictional story about a doomsday comet, but @NASA’s #DARTMission is a real spacecraft that will deflect a non-threatening asteroid as a test of #PlanetaryDefense.
Hear from director Adam McKay as he compares the two. pic.twitter.com/u91Sb4S0Ci
— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) December 30, 2021
This year, DART will be aimed at Dimorphos, a small moon orbiting the near-Earth asteroid Didymos. They hope to crash directly into it in September, which should form a basis for the programme's validity in averting disaster.
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