Giant asteroid will pass very close to Earth on January 18, 2022

This giant asteroid named (7482) 1994 PC1 does not pose a threat to the security of our planet, according to NASA scientists.

its size is too much larger than two Empire State buildings combined. Should such a volume concern the inhabitants of planet Earth? Scientists say that this giant asteroid poses no threat. We can all be calm.

The asteroid known to scientists as (7482) 1994 PC1 will pass at its closest point on January 18 at 4:51 p.m. EST (2151 GMT). It will travel at 43,754 mph (70,415 km/h) and will pass in front of Earth at a distance of 0.01324 astronomical units – 1.2 million miles (nearly 2 million kilometers), according to Solar System Dynamics (SSD). from JPL-Caltech of NASA.

where is asteroid 7482 1994 pc1 located
Asteroid (7482) 1994 PC1 will be in the constellation Pisces on January 18, 2022, the night it will be closest to Earth. Illustration by Eddie Irizarry/ Stellarium.

This rocky body measures 1,100 meters long. Although it will not collide with Earth, NASA classifies it as potentially dangerous object. According to NASA’s Asteroid Watch, this classification is given to all asteroids measuring over 460 feet (140 m) long with orbits that take them within 4.6 million miles (7.5 million km) of Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

It will not be the first time that this asteroid has come close to Earth: it already did so on January 17, 1933 when it passed at a distance of about 699,000 miles (1.1 million km).

image of an asteroid heading for earth
Getty Images

It is not the only asteroid that is heading towards Earth

However, (7482) 1994 PC1 is not the only rocky body from space that has a trajectory towards our planet. Scientists have their sights set on another: the asteroid 2009 FJ1.

Experts believe that this asteroid could impact the May 6, 2022 on Earth, but without causing negative effects. Moreover, as happens on many occasions, it could disintegrate when it comes into contact with the atmosphere of our planet.

Its size is similar to asteroid that fell in Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013. Asteroid boulders of similar sizes often disintegrate on their entry into the atmosphere, resulting in zero impact, as it turns into dust or a small rock that, if dropped on a city, could do some minor damage. materials.

According to NASA, there is a 1 in 3,984 chance of hitting Earth. This asteroid is believed to be 13 meters in diameter, a size that would make it slightly dangerous.

What is a meteoroid, meteorite and meteor

asteroid close to earth
Getty Images

The meteoroids they are fragments of comets and asteroids larger than cosmic dust, but whose size is less than 50 m in diameter. When they enter the atmosphere, friction begins to consume them and they leave a bright trail called meteor, also known as Shooting Stars.

Sometimes meteoroids are not completely consumed and some fragments reach the ground. These are called meteorites, which may resemble earth rocks with a smooth, rough or burned appearance. They vary in shape and size and the largest ones can leave a crater in the ground.

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