The approaching asteroid is known as 7482 (1994 PC1), and it was discovered in 1994, according to NASA.
Nobody expects 7482 (1994 PC1) to hit Earth, but it’s the closest the asteroid will come for the next two centuries, according to NASA projections. The asteroid is expected to be at its nearest to our planet at 4.51 p.m. ET.
It won’t be the largest asteroid ever to sweep past Earth. That honor belongs to the asteroid 3122 Florence (1981 ET3), which flew by and missed colliding with Earth on September 1, 2017. That asteroid is estimated to be between 2.5 miles and 5.5 miles wide, and it will make another pass on September 2, 2057.
Asteroids, and other near-Earth objects, zip past our planet multiple times a week.
In September this year, a NASA spacecraft will deliberately crash into an asteroid to change its motion in space — testing technology developed to deflect an asteroid hit.
Near-Earth objects are asteroids and comets with orbits that place them within 30 million miles (48 million kilometers) of Earth. Detecting the threat of near-Earth objects, or NEOs, that could potentially cause grave harm is a primary focus of NASA and other space organizations around the world.