‘Potentially hazardous’ asteroid zooms close to Earth

California Institute of Technology/NASA

(NEW YORK) — An asteroid — the largest to get close to Earth this year — tumbled past the planet Friday.

According to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies, the “potentially hazardous” asteroid is 1.1 miles long and at least 3,280 feet wide. It crossed into Earth’s orbit around 9 a.m. ET.

The asteroid, officially called 1989 JA, is roughly four times the size of the Empire State Building.

This asteroid would be catastrophic if it hit Earth, but it will be at a safe distance of 2.5 million miles away, according to the Virtual Telescope Project, the nonprofit organization that runs remotely controlled telescopes.

In a livestream showing the asteroid passing through the Earth’s orbit, the Virtual Telescope Project said that the asteroid would be visible mainly from the Southern hemisphere, using small instruments.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.