A kilometer-wide asteroid passed Earth on Friday (May 27) at a distance about 10 times the space between the Earth and the moon.
Known as Asteroid 7335 (1989 JA), the asteroid is about four times the size of the Empire State Building and is the largest to have passed our planet so far in 2022. Viewers were able to follow the event live online via the Virtual Telescope Project (you can view the feed embedded below), thanks to a new collaboration that includes telescopes in Chile, Australia and Rome.
“These two live feeds covering 1989 JA were possible thanks to the brand new ones
Collaboration between the Virtual Telescope Project and Telescope Live,” founder Gianluca Masi told Space.com. “They have multiple telescopes around the world under stunning skies.”
Related: The greatest asteroid missions of all time (opens in new tab)
At its closest point, the asteroid was 2.5 million miles (4 million kilometers) away and, despite its size of 1.1 miles (1.8 km), posed no threat to our planet. It was bright enough to show it in medium-sized to see through telescopes.
Improving the tracking of these relatively small space rocks means we can better spot potential impacts before they happen, which is why it seems like so many space rocks are passing us by these days.
While Asteroid 7335 (1989 JA) is technically classified as “Potentially Dangerous”. (opens in new tab)‘ This did not mean that an immediate threat to our planet should be indicated. The designation refers, among other things, to asteroids larger than 492 feet (150 meters) and the distance at which the asteroid approaches Earth.
Space agencies and telescopes around the world keep an eye on space rocks. This includes NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office. You can track other celebrity upcoming flybys (opens in new tab)the curated list of asteroids (opens in new tab) which have a statistically unlikely probability of effect, and the Agency’s Small-Body Database (opens in new tab) to learn more about asteroids in general.
NASA hasn’t found any immediate threats to worry about for the next 100 years, although the agency is keeping an eye on the skies just in case.
https://www.livescience.com/mile-wide-asteroid-flyby-earth-may-2022 Mile-wide asteroid, the largest yet of 2022, flies safely by Earth