ASTRONOMERS on Friday will live stream the close flyby of the largest asteroid to pass Earth this year.
The space rock named 7335 (1989 JA) will be released on April 27th.
With a width of up to 1.8 km, the rock that will surely pass our planet is four times longer than the Empire State Building.
Its size “will make it quite bright, so it will be visible by small instruments, mainly from the southern hemisphere,” according to Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project (VTP).
The VTP – a network of remotely operated telescopes – is hosting two live streams of the flyby on its website.
“We will show it live from Chile and Australia,” Masi wrote.
The one broadcast from Chile starts at midnight UK time (26 May 7pm EST) on May 27th, while the Australian stream starts at 2pm UK time (9am EST) on May 27th.
The astronomer also shared an image of the object taken Tuesday as it approached our planet.
“When we took the above image, asteroid (7335) 1989 JA was about 5.1 million km from Earth and still slowly approaching us.”
The space rock flies faster than a bullet, but poses no immediate threat to our planet.
The object speeds by about every seven years, giving scientists a chance to study it up close.
It’s one of seven space objects expected to make what Nasa is calling “close approach” this week.
Fortunately, nothing that the space agency is tracking is believed to pose any threat to us.
Astronomers are currently tracking 2,000 asteroids, comets and other objects that may one day threaten our light blue dot, and new ones are being discovered frequently.
Earth has not seen an asteroid of apocalyptic proportions since the space rock that wiped out dinosaurs 66 million years ago.
However, smaller objects capable of leveling an entire city do crash to earth from time to time.
One on June 30, 1908 near Tunguska in Siberia, a few hundred meters across, devastated 800 square miles of forest.
Luckily, Nasa doesn’t think any of the NEOs it’s keeping an eye on are on a collision course with our planet.
That could change in the coming months or years, however, as the space agency frequently revises the predicted trajectories of objects.
“NASA is currently not aware of any asteroid or comet on a collision course with Earth, so the likelihood of a major collision is fairly low,” NASA says.
“As far as we can tell, no large object is likely to hit Earth for the next hundred years.”
Even if one did hit our planet, the vast majority of asteroids would not wipe out life as we know it.
According to NASA, “global catastrophes” are only triggered when objects with a diameter of more than 900 meters hit the earth.
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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/5418433/how-to-see-mile-long-asteroid-pass-earth-event/ How to watch a huge MILES long asteroid pass by Earth on rare occasions in just two days