TRENTON, Canada – An asteroid larger than the world’s tallest skyscraper will cross Earth’s orbit next week.
The asteroid, known as 7482 (1994 PC1), is scheduled to travel near on January 18 but is not projected to pose a direct threat to Earth., according to a report from Anadolu that was posted by the Philippine News Agency (PNA), the state-funded newswire service.
However, it will come within 1.2 million miles of Earth, which qualifies it as “potentially hazardous” by NASA due to its “capacity to make threatening approaches to the Earth,” according to the space agency.
The agency began tracking the asteroid in 1994. It is traveling at 47,344 kilometers per hour (29,418 miles per hour) and at roughly two-thirds of a mile wide, its breadth is a little wider than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai — the world’s tallest building at 828 meters (2,716.5 feet).
Asteroids speeding past Earth are nothing new as it is estimated there are about 25,000 so-called near-Earth ones that are a minimum of 500 feet in width and, if they crash into Earth, could be “devastating,” Nancy Chabot of US-based Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory told CBS.
“We’re actually not talking, like, global extinction event, but regional devastation on the area that could wipe out a city or even a small state,” she said. “And so it is a real concern. It is a real threat.”
NASA is preparing for such an eventuality in case an asteroid poses a direct threat to Earth.
In September, it will conduct a Double Asteroid Redirection Test, colliding a probe with a small asteroid called Dimorphos, to see if it is possible to deflect a devastating asteroid from Earth. (Anadolu)