'Potentially hazardous' asteroid to pass by Earth next week

13 January 2022, 16:37 | Updated: 13 January 2022, 16:43

The asteroid is due to come within 1,231,184 miles of Earth
The asteroid is due to come within 1,231,184 miles of Earth. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

A massive asteroid described as "potentially hazardous" by Nasa is set to make a close pass by Earth next week.

The asteroid is estimated to measure more than 3,280 feet across, or around 10 times the size of Big Ben's tower, which stands at 316 ft tall.

The asteroid is even wider than the height of Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, which is 2,716.5 feet tall. 

It is expected to pass by Earth at a “close approach” distance on January 18.

Nasa has said the asteroid, which has been given the name (7482) 1994 PC1, poses no danger to Earth.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has worked out that the giant mass could come within 1,231,184 miles of Earth.

This would be the closest the asteroid has come to Earth since January 17, 1933, when NASA projected it came within less than 700,000 miles of the planet. 

The next time the asteroid is predicted to fly so close to Earth is not until January 18, 2105, when it is projected to come within 1,445,804 miles. 

1994 PC1 was discovered in 1994 by R.H. McNaught at the Siding Spring observatory in Australia, according to The International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center.

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