Giant asteroid taller than Carrauntoohil expected to soar past Earth tomorrow
A giant asteroid taller than County Kerry's Carrauntoohil mountain is expected to soar past Earth tonight (January 18).
Called 7482 (1994 PC1), the asteroid is more than a kilometre wide at 1,052m and is bigger than any building on the planet including Burj Khalifa in Dubai (830m).
Carrauntoohil reaches a height of 1,038 metres.
The asteroid reportedly poses no threat to Earth and at its closest will pass more than five times the moon’s distance from the planet.
Robert McNaught discovered asteroid (7482) 1994 PC1 at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia on August 9 1994.
Nasa’s Asteroid Watch Twitter account posted: “Near-Earth #asteroid 1994 PC1 (~1 km wide) is very well known and has been studied for decades by our #PlanetaryDefense experts.
“Rest assured, 1994 PC1 will safely fly past our planet 1.2 million miles away next Tues, Jan 18.”
The agency’s Planetary Defence Coordination Office monitors the skies to find, track, and monitor near-Earth objects.
Nasa is also looking at ways to intercept potentially hazardous asteroids with its double asteroid redirection test (Dart) mission.
The mission aims to prove a spacecraft can autonomously navigate to a target asteroid and intentionally collide with it, smashing it off course.
You can track the asteroid's course on Nasa's Asteroid Watch website.
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