A giant asteroid is expected to make its closest approach to Earth soon, but don’t worry, it will still be more than a million miles away.
According to Space.com, the colossal space rock is estimated to be about 3,400 feet, which is nearly three times the height of the 102-story Empire State Building, and will be unveiled on April 18 NASA studies of near-Earth objects. Even so, Earth is in the clear as it is projected to be traveling at a distance of 1.2 million miles.
What makes this upcoming event significant is that the trajectory of the asteroid, officially known as 7482 (1994 PC1), marks the closest approach Earth’s space rock will make within the next 200 years, he says earth sky, although it will be gone almost as quickly as it arrives, as it is expected to fly by at a top speed of almost 12 miles per second (20 km/s).
Despite its distant trajectory, the asteroid would be considered a “Near-Earth Object” (NEO), according to NASA, since any asteroid or comet that comes closer than 1.3 astronomical units (120.9 million miles) is classified as such – and this is something the agency continues to monitor, having found almost 28,000 NEOs with survey telescopes to date.
Scientists have even calculated the probability that the potentially dangerous asteroid Bennu will hit Earth between 2021 and 2300. Fortunately, Bennu’s chances of hitting Earth are still very slim, but Earthlings might consider becoming astrophysicists getting closer to asteroids than ever before has explained how humans could inhabit a floating asteroid belt in space.
Beautiful photos of the earth from space
Before you think about moving, you might want to take a closer look at an asteroid sample from space and find out more about the inside of an asteroid to find out if it contains water. It’s worth noting that these rocky objects don’t come cheap either; A metallic asteroid between Mars and Jupiter was worth an estimated $10,000 quadrillion.
Adele Ankers-Range is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.
Thumbnail image credit: NASA.