According to NASA’s Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), a massive asteroid four times the size of the Empire State Building will make a tight approach to Earth on May 27.
The asteroid, named 7335 (1989 JA), will soundly skip our planet by roughly 2.5 million miles, about 4 million kilometers or almost ten times the normal distance between Earth and the moon. However, the space rock’s vast size is about 1.1. miles, or 1.8 km, in diameter and fairly close vicinity to Earth, NASA has categorized the asteroid as “potentially hazardous,” implying that it could destroy our planet if its orbit ever shifts and the rock affects Earth.
The rock won’t make another intimate flyby until June 23, 2055, when it will fly even more off than this flyby or within approximately 70 times the distance between Earth and the moon.
The agency said that the asteroid is one of more than 29,000 near-Earth objects (NEOs) that NASA traces every year. According to NASA, NEOs refer to any astronomical item that flies within roughly 30 million miles or 48 million km from the Earth’s orbit. A majority of these objects are incredibly small. 7335 (1989 JA) is estimated to be larger than nearly 99% of NEOs that NASA commemorates.
Live Science recently reported that NASA traces NEOs like this one strictly and lately initiated a mission to test whether potentially risky asteroids could one day be prevented from a collision with Earth. In November 2021, NASA started a spacecraft named the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), which will crash directly into the 525-foot wide or 160 meters Dimorphous asteroid in autumn 2022. The crash won’t demolish the asteroid, but it may scarcely alter the rock’s orbital route.