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Asteroid Bigger than Empire State Building is about to Cross Earth

A large, rocky Asteroid is going to fly by Earth next week.At 1 kilometer (3,280 feet) long, it’s roughly two and a half times the height of the Empire State Building, and it’s been classed a “Potentially Hazardous due to its size and its regular close visits to our planet.

This month’s visit is going to have a very safe clearance, with the Asteroid zipping by at a distance of 1.93 million kilometers (~1.2 million miles) away from Earth – that’s roughly 5.15 times more distant than the Moon.  The calculations of its trajectory only come with a 133-kilometer (~83-mile) margin of error, so there’s no risk we’ll be colliding with this Asteroid any time soon.

In fact, if you’re a stargazer, you’re in for a treat as it visits our skies. The closest approach will take place on January 18 at 21:51 UTC (4.51pm EST). It is known as Asteroid (7482) 1994 PC1, the space rock was first discovered in 1994 by astronomer Robert McNaught at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.Scientists were able to find images of it all the way back to September 1974, which is why we can be so confident in its orbital path. Asteroid (7482) 1994 PC1 has an orbital arc of just 47 years, which is the length of time between observations in our night sky.

The last close approach was 89 years ago on 17 January 1933, at a slightly closer (but still very safe) distance of 1.1 million kilometers (~699,000 miles). It’s next expected to be within a similar distance of Earth on 18 January 2105

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