An asteroid the size of a school bus will make a very close approach this week, according to space object trackers.
Astronomers spotted near-Earth space rock 2022 GN1 just days before its eye-catching flyby on Wednesday.
NASA logged the 16-meter-long mass online as it made its “close approach.” Databasealthough it poses no threat to our planet.
The asteroid is expected to fly by at a safe distance of about 79,000 miles (127,000 km).
That might sound like a sizeable gap, but spatially it’s remarkably narrow at about a third of the space between Earth and the Moon.
This makes 2022 GN1 the closest known asteroid to have passed Earth since April 1, when one passed within 55,000 km (34,000 miles) of us.
Wednesday’s asteroid was discovered on April 1 by the Hawaii-based Pan Starrs survey announced yesterday.
According to the NASA database for near-Earth objects, its diameter is estimated at 7.2 to 16 meters.
The Virtual Telescope Project, a series of robotic telescopes in Italy, has announced it will broadcast Wednesday’s flyby on its live stream website.
The live feed begins on April 6, 2022 at 2:00am UK time (9:00pm EST on Tuesday).
2022 GN1 is one of more than a dozen space objects expected to make what Nasa is calling “close approach” this week.
Thousands of near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are being tracked to provide early warning if they go on a collision course with our planet.
Any space object that comes within 4.6 million miles of us is classified as “potentially dangerous” by cautious space organizations.
Fortunately, none of the asteroids being tracked by the space agency are believed to pose a threat to us.
Earth has not seen an asteroid of apocalyptic proportions since the space rock that wiped out dinosaurs 66 million years ago.
However, smaller objects capable of leveling an entire city do crash to earth from time to time.
One on June 30, 1908 near Tunguska in Siberia, a few hundred meters across, devastated 800 square miles of forest.
“NASA is currently not aware of any asteroid or comet on a collision course with Earth, so the likelihood of a major collision is fairly low,” NASA says.
“As far as we can tell, no large object is likely to hit Earth for the next hundred years.”
Even if one did hit our planet, the vast majority of asteroids would not wipe out life as we know it.
According to NASA, “global catastrophes” are only triggered when objects with a diameter of more than 900 meters hit the earth.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8608921/bus-sized-asteroid-days-passes-closer-earth-moon/ Bus-sized asteroid spotted closer than the moon just days before its flyby – how to watch it