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Massive asteroid will fly by Earth next week, NASA data shows

A kilometer-wide asteroid will pass by Earth next week, according to data from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The asteroid, known as 7482 (1994 PC1), was first observed in 1994. It will pass within 0.01324 astronomical units (1,230,734 miles) of Earth at 4:51 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

It’ll be the closest the asteroid will come to the planet for the next 200 years.

orbit-viewer-snapshot (3)

This simulator shows approximately how close the asteroid 7482 (1994 PC1) will come to Earth when it passes by on Jan. 18, 2022. (Source: NASA)

The asteroid’s most recent pass by took place on June 26, 2011, but we won’t have to wait that long to see it again. The next flyby is estimated to take place this summer on July 3, though it will be much farther away at 0.44349 astronomical units.

On Tuesday, researchers expect the asteroid to be moving at 47,344 mph. Even so, it will be far too distant to threaten Earth with a collision.

Mathematically, the asteroid’s closest point will be five times the distance from the Earth to the moon.

This story was reported from Atlanta.