Asteroid 7482 to zip by Earth today, relatively closely

Space rock will pass by at 1.2 million miles away

Asteroid 7482 is traveling at a cool 43,754 miles per hour.

Asteroid 7482 (1994 PC1) won’t be this close to Earth for another 200 years.

On Tuesday (Jan. 18, 2022), the asteroid more than two times the size of the Empire State Building will go zipping by the Earth. The space rock will fly by about 4:50 p.m. ET.

While NASA considers it a “potentially hazardous object” traveling nearly 44,000 miles per hour, it will be far away so don’t be worried. It won’t even come as close as the Moon. It will be 1.2 million miles away, which is relatively close compared to most objects of its size.

It measures more than a kilometer in width -- about 3,450 feet.

Because it’s so far away, you won’t be able to see it with the naked eye but maybe with a small telescope.

This is the first time it will pass by this year, but it will be over 41.2 million miles away when it passes again in July. So this time in January is when to try to catch a glimpse with a telescope.

More: Science news

NASA launches spacecraft to test asteroid defense concept

NASA launched a spacecraft in November on a mission to smash into an asteroid and test whether it would be possible to knock a speeding space rock off course if one were to threaten Earth.

The DART spacecraft, short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test, lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in a $330 million project with echoes of the Bruce Willis movie “Armageddon.”

Read more here.