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Giant 1km-wide asteroid to pass by Earth, NASA says

A giant asteroid bigger than any building on Earth will pass by our planet on Tuesday, NASA has said.

The asteroid, called 7482 (1994 PC1), measures more than a kilometre in width, at 1,052m (3,451ft).

It is taller than the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifi in Dubai, which is 830m (2,723ft) high.

NASA’s Asteroid Watch Twitter account assured its followers that the asteroid does not pose a threat to Earth.

It tweeted on 12 January that the asteroid is “very well known and has been studied for decades by our #PlanetaryDefense experts”.

It added that “1994 PC1 will safely fly past our planet 1.2 million miles away next Tuesday”.

The distance equates to five times the moon’s distance from Earth.

More on Nasa

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, spacecraft onboard, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, Pacific time (Nov. 24 Eastern time) from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. DART is the world...s first full-scale planetary defense test, demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection technology. The mission was built and is managed by Johns Hopkins APL for NASA...s Planetary Defense Coordination Office. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Image: The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft onboard

The rocky object was discovered in 1994 by Robert McNaught at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.

NASA’s Planetary Defence Co-ordination Office watches the skies to find, track, and monitor near-Earth objects.

To prevent harm from future asteroids, NASA is trialling its double asteroid redirection test (Dart) programme.

The mission aims to prove a spacecraft can independently navigate to a target asteroid and collide with it, thus smashing it off course.