Updated: January 19, 2022 1:36:33 pm
NASA’s Asteroid Watch informed about a near-Earth asteroid named 7482 (1994 PC1) will whiz safely past our planet on Tuesday. It will fly past the earth at a distance of 1.2 million miles or 1.9 million kilometres, which is about five times the distance between the Earth and Moon.
While NASA made it clear that the asteroid doesn’t pose any danger to the Earth, it didn’t stop people from speculating or referencing the recent Jennifer Lawrence-Leonardo DiCaprio disaster film, Don’t Look Up.
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.
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— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) January 12, 2022
However, most were happy to follow the journey of the asteroid on NASA’s website. NASA also shared how the giant asteroid could be tracked.
I’d be very happy if you could give me a call in case it decides to hit the earth.
— Kamaşullah-ı şerif (@KamasullahS) January 13, 2022
When they report that something is “nearby,” I always console myself by saying, “Well, that’s calculated in light-years. Whew!”
— Audrey Jackson (@audballcaudball) January 13, 2022
— Peaceful C ⚡️ (@CAJanuszewski) January 12, 2022
Hope to see it! pic.twitter.com/SmeYVuaGyD
— Bryan Haboc (@23BLCH) January 13, 2022
— Alexis Miguel (@alexistmiguel) January 17, 2022
DON’T LOOK UP has certainly spiked the interest in general public regarding ‘potentially hazardous objects (asteroids and comets).
— Vismrit (@vismritU) January 18, 2022
— Ruchi Tyagi (@ruchityagi2108) January 18, 2022
NEWS 🚨: On Jan. 18 an asteroid twice the size of the Empire State Building will zoom by Earth safely at about 1.2 million miles (5x the moon distance)
The closest pass in two centuries pic.twitter.com/4RWcW2V3in
— Latest in space (@latestinspace) January 13, 2022
According to earthsky.org the 7482 (1994 PC1) will shine at around magnitude 10. This magnitude is less than the shine of Venus and other stars seen by our naked eyes in the sky. The website adds that a 6-inch or larger backyard telescope can help spot the asteroid, but you also need to make sure there is no light pollution.
Last year NASA launched the world’s first mission to deflect an asteroid. Named DART, it will collide with a small moonlet called Dimorphos between September 26 and October 1. It is hoped that the small nudge can change the course of the moonlet.
According to NASA, no known asteroid poses a risk of impact with Earth over the next 100 years. “The highest risk of impact for a known asteroid is a 1 in 714 chance of impact by an asteroid designated 2009 FD in 2185,” NASA’s planetary defense website adds.
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