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A huge, kilometer-wide asteroid passing Earth today

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It will pass within 1.2 million miles of our planet and move at 47,344 miles per hour, according to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies, which tracks potentially dangerous comets and asteroids that could collide with our planet.

The approaching asteroid is known as 7482 (1994 PC1), and it was discovered in 1994, according to NASA.

No one expects 7482 (1994 PC1) to hit Earth, but it is the closest asteroid will come in the next two centuries, according to NASA's forecasts. The asteroid is expected to be closest to our planet at 16.51 ET.

NASA launches mission to crash into a terrestrial asteroid to try to change its motion in space

It will not be the largest asteroid that has ever swept past Earth. That honor belongs to the asteroid 3122 Florence (1981 ET3), which flew by and failed to collide with Earth on September 1, 2017. The asteroid is estimated to be between 2.5 miles and 5.5 miles wide and it will run once again on September 2, 2057.

NASA described 7482 (1994 PC1) as "bridge size."
While the asteroid is barely visible to the naked eye today, amateur astronomers with a small telescope should be able to spot it, according to the website EarthSky.com.

In September this year, a NASA spacecraft will deliberately crash into an asteroid to change its motion in space - test technology developed to deflect an asteroid hit.

Known as The DART mission, or Double Asteroid Redirection Test, aims the spacecraft at Dimorphos, a small moon orbiting the near-terrestrial asteroid Didymos.

Earth-like objects are asteroids and comets with orbits that place them within 30 million miles (48 million kilometers) of Earth. Discovering the threat of terrestrial objects or NEOs that could potentially cause serious damage is a primary focus of NASA and other space organizations around the world.

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