Time to Call Bruce Willis? Kilometre-wide Asteroid Heading for Earth
18:39 GMT 11.01.2022 (Updated: 12:50 GMT 18.01.2022)
Our Blue Planet faces dozens of major asteroid near misses every year, with some scientists promoting ambitious but costly asteroid impact avoidance technologies to shoot down or redirect near-Earth object threats, while others suggest humanity will continue to hold all its eggs in one basket unless we start colonising the cosmos.
A 3,500 foot wide (1.06 km) asteroid will pass close to Earth next Tuesday, with NASA categorising it as a "potentially hazardous asteroid" due to its size and trajectory.
First discovered by Australian astronomer Robert McNaught in 1994, the space rock is named "Asteroid 7482 (1994 PC1)" and is set to pass within about 1.2 million miles (1.9 million km) of the planet. That might seem like a lot, but in the vast emptiness of space, it’s actually pretty close. For example, Mars, the planet which space agencies, billionaires and astronomers the world over have are seeking to study and explore, is an average of about 342 million km from our planet.
12 December 2019, 11:21 GMT
Astronomy enthusiasts will be able to observe Asteroid 7482 as it passes by using small commercial telescopes. EarthSky.org provides more details about the space rock’s expected trajectory, with the outlet saying it should be visible against the stars as it zips past our planet due to its huge size and proximity.
The flyby is expected to be the closest the asteroid comes to our planet in more than 200 years before coming back around again.
14 December 2021, 14:28 GMT