May 15, 2022 2:04 am

A gigantic asteroid will pass close to Earth next Tuesday

Almost as in the film don’t look up (but, fortunately, less serious).

NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, which monitors the future of “potentially dangerous” celestial objects, He reported that A kilometer-wide asteroid will fly “close” to our planet on January 18.

It is the closest thing that that enormous rock, discovered in 1994 and named 7482 (1994 PC1), will be of our star in the next 200 years, although there is no reason for alarm: will pass at 0.13 astronomical units, that is, 1.9 million kilometers -about five times the distance between the Earth and the Moon-.

Asteroid (7482) 1994 PC1 during another flyby of Earth in 1997Sormano Astronomical Observatory in Italy

Depending on the site, this fireball -which moves at a speed of almost 80,000 kilometers per hour- cannot be seen with the naked eye, although it is likely that those who have a telescope can detect it in the sky.

The asteroid was discovered 28 years ago by Robert McNaught at Australia’s Siding Spring Observatory.

Although it is highly unlikely that an asteroid will collide with Earth, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) launched the DART mission in November last year -which stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test-, which aims to test technology that could eventually be used to deflect or destroy a potentially dangerous space rock.

DART will hit an object called Dimorphos – which poses no threat to our planet – in order to record how much its speed and trajectory can be altered. The collision is estimated to take place between July and September this year.

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