Massive Asteroid Set to Pass Earth Next Week Labeled 'Potentially Hazardous' by NASA

Asteroid 7482 (1994 PC1)'s closest approach to Earth will take place on January 18, 2022.

Scientists at NASA said there are more than a million known asteroids, and it is not uncommon for them to fly by Earth, a report said. 

If you think a blast of arctic air the nation is facing these last few days is a big deal, then consider an asteroid, estimated to be more than twice the size of the Empire State Building, passing by Earth.

The massive asteroid named 7482 (1994 PCI), believed to weigh roughly 1 kilometer, is projected to come within 1,231,184 miles of Earth by Jan. 18, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The asteroid, discovered in Aug. 1944, and classified as an “Apollo asteroid" — meaning that its orbit crosses the Earth's, and its axes are slightly larger — has also been classified as “potentially hazardous” for its "potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth,” according to NASA.

Experts said 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, CBS News reported. 

The space agency said that in July, the asteroid is expected to possibly pass by again, but at a far greater distance. 

After the two exciting episodes, the next anticipated time the asteroid is ready to fly by Earth at such a close distance is not until January 18, 2105, when it is projected to come within 1,445,804 miles, CBS reported. 

The fact that an asteroid is heading our way over the next week may be unsettling for some but, scientists at NASA said there are more than a million known asteroids, and said it is not 'uncommon' for many to fly by Earth, a report said. 

In fact, on Wednesday and Thursday this week, scientists said there are at least five asteroids zooming by the planet, including one the size of a bus and three the size of a house, according to NASA. 

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