ASTRONOMERS on Friday will live stream the close flyby of the largest asteroid to zip past Earth this year.
The space rock, 命名为 7335 (1989 JA), will soar within 2.5million miles (4m km) of our pale blue dot on May 27.
At up to 1.1 英里 (1.8 km) wide, the rock – which will safely pass our planet – is four times the length of the Empire State Building.
Its size “will make it quite bright, so it will be visible through small instruments, mainly from the Southern hemisphere,” according to the Virtual Telescope Project’s (VTP) Gianluca Masi.
The VTP – a network of remotely operated telescopes – is hosting two live streams of the flyby 在其网站上.
“We will show it live from Chile and Australia,” Masi wrote.
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The one broadcast from Chile will kick off at midnight UK time on May 27 (7 下午. EST on May 26), while the Australian stream starts at 2 下午. 英国时间 (9 是. EST) 在5月 27.
The astronomer also shared an image of the object captured on Tuesday as it was approaching our planet.
“When we grabbed the image above, asteroid (7335) 1989 JA was about 5.1million km from Earth and was still slowly approaching us.”
The space rock is travelling faster than a bullet but does not pose any immediate threat to our planet.
The object hurtles past roughly once every seven years, giving scientists a chance to examine it up close.
It’s one of seven space objects expected to make what Nasa calls “close approaches” 本星期.
幸运的是, nothing being tracked by the space agency is thought to pose any danger to us.
Astronomers are currently tracking 2,000 asteroids, comets and other objects that could one day threaten our pale blue dot, and new ones are discovered frequently.
Earth hasn’t seen an asteroid of apocalyptic scale since the space rock that wiped out the dinosaurs 66million years ago.
然而, smaller objects capable of flattening an entire city crash into Earth every so often.
One a few hundred metres across devastated 800 square miles of forest near Tunguska in Siberia on June 30, 1908.
幸运的是, Nasa doesn’t believe any of the NEOs it keeps an eye on are on a collision course with our planet.
That could change in the coming months or years, 然而, as the space agency frequently revises objects’ predicted trajectories.
“Nasa knows of no asteroid or comet currently on a collision course with Earth, so the probability of a major collision is quite small,” 美国宇航局说.
“实际上, as best as we can tell, no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years.”
Even if one were to hit our planet, the vast majority of asteroids would not wipe out life as we know it.
“Global catastrophes” are only triggered when objects larger than 900 metres across smash into Earth, according to Nasa.
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