A big asteroid four times the size of the Empire State Building, named 7335 (1989 JA), will make a close approach to Earth on May 27, at a distance nearly 10 times the average distance between Earth and the moon. It is 1.1. miles, or 1.8 km in diameter and was discovered in May 1989 by astronomer Eleanor “Glo” Helin at the Palomar Observatory in California. The space rock will be zooming past our planet at a staggering speed of around 47,200 miles per hour. NASA has classified the asteroid as “potentially hazardous,” meaning it could do enormous damage to our planet if its orbit ever changes. This is the largest asteroid that will make a close approach to Earth this year. It’s close enough for those with telescopes to spot it. People who don’t have telescopes will be provided with live streams showing the asteroid flying by us on May 26 at 7 pm ET and on May 27 at 9 am ET, by the team at the Virtual Telescope Project and Telescope Live (https://www.virtualtelescope.eu/). 7335 (1989 JA) also fits into a class of asteroid called the Apollo-class ,which refers to asteroids that orbit the sun while periodically crossing Earth’s orbit.
This one will return to Earth in 2055. NASA recently launched a mission to test whether potentially hazardous asteroids could one day be deflected from a collision course with Earth. Fortunatelly, none of the known Potentially Hazardous (NEOs) have any chance of colliding with the Earth over the next century or so.