Massive asteroid passes ‘close’ to Earth

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A massive asteroid over a mile wide made a closer-than-normal trip past the Earth near the end of May, an approach so close that it could be spotted in the sky.

Asteroids fly past the Earth on a regular basis, but Asteroid 7335 (1989 JA) is bigger than many of them, measuring 1.1 miles (5,900 feet) across. For comparison, it is four times larger than the Empire State Building and more than twice as large as the Burj Khalifa, located in Saudi Arabia, and the tallest building on the planet.

On May 27, the mammoth asteroid made its closest encounter with our planet since its discovery, but passed by with no threat of impact.

Asteroid 7335 was discovered on May 1, 1989, and is one of 2,265 space rocks that NASA has labeled as a “potentially hazardous asteroid.”

Near the end of the month, Asteroid 7335 will come within 2.5 million miles of the Earth, which is just over 10 times farther away than the moon. Not only is this the closest that it will come to the planet since its discovery, but this is the closest it will come through at least 2194.

This flyby will be a good opportunity for scientists to take better observations of the asteroid, as well as a chance for amateur stargazers to spot it in the sky.

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