- An asteroid four times the size of the Empire State Building is on close approach with Earth.
- NASA has classified Asteroid 7335 (1989 JA) as “potentially hazardous” due to its size and orbit.
- Read more news about asteroids here.
On May 27, a “potentially hazardous” asteroid more than one mile in diameter will pass by Earth. Asteroid 7335 (1989 JA) is considered to be “potentially hazardous” by NASA due its unusually large size and its proximity to Earth when it passes by in its orbit.
Any space rock that is “more than about 460 feet (140 meters) in size with orbits that bring them as close as within 4.6 million miles (7.5 million kilometers) of Earth’s orbit around the Sun” is considered to be “potentially hazardous” by NASA.
Asteroid 7335 (1989 JA), an Apollo-class asteroid, is the largest space rock expected to make a close approach to Earth in 2022. It will be traveling at a speed of approximately 47,200 mph when it does.
The gigantic rock, which is similar in size to Mount Everest and larger than than 99% of all known asteroids, will pass by Earth at a distance of approximately 2.5 million miles, which also means it is classified as a Near-Earth Object by NASA. Any object that passes within 120 million miles of Earth receives this classification by the space organization.
While 2.5 million miles is a great distance, in space terms it isn’t. By comparison, the moon is 238,855 miles from Earth, while the planet Mars is 245.22 million miles away.
An asteroid the size of Mount Everest will pass by Earth at over 54 times the speed of sound
As always, NASA says there is nothing to fear with Asteroid 7335 (1989 JA), however, there is always the threat of the gravitational tug of Earth altering the asteroid’s orbit (called the Yarkovsky Effect) and should that occur there isn’t much we could do to stop it.
NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) states that “currently there is no known significant threat of impact for the next hundred years or more.”
Asteroid 7335 (1989 JA) can be viewed as it passes by Earth on May 27 using The Virtual Telescope Project on YouTube.