1000 meter asteroid to skim Earth next week

An asteroid, which measures 1.05 kilometres across will make its closest approach towards Earth next week.

Known as asteroid (7482) 1994 PC1, the space rock will safely pass by the planet from a distance of 1.9 million km, at a speed of approximately 76,192kph, in the late hours of January 18.

NASA has been tracking the space rock since it was discovered by Scottish-Australian astronomer Robert McNaught in 1994.

Asteroids are rocky leftovers from the formation of the early system. More than 1.1 million have been found but many remain undiscovered.

While an asteroid crashing into Earth any time soon is unlikely, it is not impossible.

In 2013, an asteroid crashed into the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. It exploded after entering Earth’s atmosphere and released energy equivalent to 500 kilotonnes of TNT.

The incident caused more than 3,600 apartment windows to shatter, injuring about 1,000 people.

This 1000-metre asteroid has been known about for years, and so has a very well defined orbit – its next flyby will be in 2058!

During close-approach, (7482) 1994 PC1 should be visible to most amateur telescopes. Check out the map below for where and when to see it best

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