Near-Earth asteroids, or NEAs, pass by our home planet all the time. But on January 18, the world witnessed the passing of a huge asteroid by Earth. As per the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the asteroid called 7482 (1994 PC1) was larger than any building on our planet. Speaking about its measurements, it was more than a kilometre in width (approximately 3,450 feet). The giant rock crossed the Earth at a distance of roughly 1.98 million kilometres. It was being classified as ‘potentially hazardous’ and ‘Near-Earth Object’ because of its closeness to the planet Earth. The PC1 was being studied by astronomers for over decades and there was no threat because of the fact that it was still five lunar distances away.
There were many who feared the catastrophic destruction that could happen if the asteroid of this size collided with our planet. Luckily, nothing of this sort happened. Not only this but even NASA in their tweet said, "Near-Earth #asteroid 1994 PC1 (~1 km wide) is very well known and has been studied for decades by our #PlanetaryDefense experts. Rest assured, 1994 PC1 will safely fly past our planet 1.2 million miles away next Tues., Jan. 18."
As soon as the Apollo-class asteroid approached, Netizens got excited and created a buzz on the internet. Twitter got filled with reactions and memes. See the same here:
For those unversed, Asteroid 7482 (1994 PC1) was discovered by astronomer Robert McNaught in the year 1994. After today, it will not cross our planet for another century. Today's approach will be the closest for this asteroid for at least the next 200 years for which astronomers have calculated its orbit.