NASA labels massive asteroid set to pass Earth next week as “potentially hazardous”


If you think a blast of arctic air the nation is facing these last few days is a big deal, then consider an asteroid, estimated to be more than twice the size of the Empire State Building, passing by Earth.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory projects that the massive asteroid 7482 (1994 PCI), estimated to weigh approximately 1 kilometer, will pass Earth within 1,231,184 mi by January 18.

The asteroid was classified as an anastrozoite in August 1944. “Apollo asteroid” — meaning that its orbit crosses the Earth’s, and its axes are slightly larger — has also been classified as “potentially hazardous” for its “potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth,” according to NASA.

Experts predicted that this would be the closest anasteroid has come since January 17, 1933, when NASA had projected that it would reach Earth within 700,000. CBS News reported. 

According to NASA, the asteroid could pass by again in July. But, it will be at a greater distance. 

After the two exciting episodes, the next anticipated time the asteroid is ready to fly by Earth at such a close distance is not until January 18, 2105, when it is projected to come within 1,445,804 miles, CBS reported. 

The fact that an asteroid is heading our way over the next week may be unsettling for some but, scientists at NASA said there are more than a million known asteroids, and said it is not ‘uncommon’ for many to fly by Earth, a report said. 

In fact, on Wednesday and Thursday this week, scientists said there are at least five asteroids zooming by the planet, including one the size of a bus and three the size of a house, according to NASA.