An asteroid the size of the Empire State building will glide past Earth on March 7. Here’s everything you need to know!
This is not a drill! A colossal asteroid, named 2017 VR12 is expected to fly past Earth on Wednesday at the speed of 14,092 miles per hour. In size, the asteroid measures between 700ft and 1,500ft, according to NASA. So crazy, right? Interestingly, VR12 has potential to be hazardous if it comes within a certain distance to our beloved planet, 4,600,000 miles to be exact. But before you freak out, scientist believe it will be more than 900,000 miles away from us– roughly 3.8 times the distance between the Earth and the moon.
Since the asteroid will be closest to Earth at 2:53 am EST, space fanatics can tune in using their telescopes. To better view VR12, nature publication EarthSky recommends using a dark cloth or shirt over your head while using a telescope. Plus, you can also view the asteroid through a live streamed video offered by the Virtual Telescope Project. How fun will that be?! Surprisingly, VR12 isn’t the first asteroid to take a trip past earth this month. On Feb. 4, a rocky mass named 2002 AJ129 passed by Earth safely. This asteroid was also dubbed hazardous but luckily, nothing happened, according USA Today. So it’s safe to assume, we’ll be okay this time around.
If you recall, the only time a mass from space came dangerously close to Earth was in 1972. The Great Fireball or US19720810 was a fire ball that passed within 57 kilometers of Earth’s surface. It was seen by many people and even recorded on film. It left a smoke trail behind, and created a loud sonic boom noise. Lets hope we never have to experience that again!