Today marks the day for an out-of-this-world event: According to CBS News, an asteroid, officially named 7482 (1994 PC1), is passing by Earth in extremely close proximity. The object is large in size, too, as it measures at one kilometer (3,280 feet) in height, which is nearly 564 feet taller than the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa located in Dubai. And per research by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the asteroid is set to come within 1,231,184 miles, which will be the nearest an asteroid has been to Earth since January 17, 1933, since one was predicted to be within 700,000 miles of our planet.
While 7482 (1994 PC1) is making its appearance near Earth this evening, it is projected to come back around this July, just further away. NASA notes that it could make its way at a close distance on January 18, 2105 when it nears within 1,445,804 miles. However, you can catch today's sight, which the Virtual Telescope Project describes as "quite bright," via livestream beginning at 3 p.m. eastern time.
Courtesy of NASA / The Aerospace Corporation
NASA has researched this "Apollo" asteroid, which means its orbit crosses Earth's and features bigger axes, since first uncovering it in August 1994. The team explains that this object is "potentially hazardous," because of its "potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth." There are even more asteroids set to make appearances this week, in fact: On Wednesday and Thursday, a minimum of five asteroids will pass by Earth that span from the "size of a bus" to "the size of a house," the space agency said.
Nancy Chabot, the chief planetary scientist at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory, shared that Earth could be in danger if one of nearly 25,000 asteroids close to our planet that measure at 500 feet in size crash into our world. "We're actually not talking, like, global extinction event, but regional devastation on the area that could wipe out a city or even a small state," she said previously. "And so it is a real concern. It is a real threat."