An asteroid over 3,000 feet in diameter will pass close to Earth next week

An asteroid is not expected to be a real threat to Earth for at least 100 years.

Photo: NASA / Getty Images

A potentially dangerous asteroid will pass close to Earth on January 18. This is expected to be one of the closest encounters between the rocky body, named by NASA 7482 (1994 PC1), and our planet.

It is estimated that the asteroid It is approximately 3,280 feet wide, which is more than twice the height of the Empire State Building. whose height is 1454 feet from its base to its antenna.

According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Center during its tour asteroid 1994 PC1 will pass about 1,231,184 miles which will be its closest to Earth since its passage on January 17, 1933 when it is estimated that it was less than 7,000,000 miles away.

The next visit of the asteroid to the vicinity of our planet is expected to occur in July of this year. However, this time their passage will take place at a significantly greater distance.

NASA hopes that such an event, with this asteroid, will not repeat itself until 2105 when it approaches 1,445,804 miles again.

Discovery

The 1994 PC1 was discovered by Australian astronomer Robert H. McNaught on August 9, 1994 from the Siding Spring Observatory, located in New South Wales, Australia. This rocky body is part of the so-called Apollo Asteroids, which is a classification that groups all those asteroids whose orbit crosses that of the Earth.

One aspect that differentiates the 1994 PC1 is that its size is greater than that of 99% of the asteroids that have been identified and tracked by NASA scientists in all history.

Besides the 1994 PC1 in our solar system there are more than 1 million known asteroids. For this reason, the approach of some of them is something relatively frequent. In the same way, it is calculated that from the number of known asteroids, at least 25,000 of them are large enough to be devastating if they hit the planet.

“We are not really talking about a global extinction event, but a regional devastation in the area that it could wipe out a city or even a small state”Explains planetary scientist and head of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Nancy Chabot.

The expert adds that events of this type represent a real threat, so they should be treated as such.

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