An enormous asteroid that is nearly as large as two Empire State Buildings passed safely by Earth on Tuesday astronomers said.
NASA classifies the object as "potentially hazardous," yet the asteroid was always expected to move past our planet safely at 43,754 mph at a distance of 1.2 million miles away from Earth, according to NASA.
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/JMAPWiirZh pic.twitter.com/35pgUb1anq
While the distance from Earth sounds safe, astronomers still consider it close for an object of its size. Scientists say there is no danger of a collision with Earth but that the object is still classified as having the potential to be hazardous.
The Virtual Telescope Project, based in Italy's capital city Rome, live-streamed the asteroid, called 7482 (1994 PC1), as it was set to pass Earth. Streaming began live at 3 p.m. EST on Tuesday just before the object was at its closest approach to Earth.
Virtual Telescope Project's founder Gianluca Masi wrote on their livestream page that the "Virtual Telescope Project will show it live online, just at the fly-by time, when it will peak in brightness."
According to Live Science, 7482 (1994 PC1) would make its closest approach to our planet Tuesday at 4:51 p.m. EST.