According to the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), on May 27, an asteroid that is four times larger than the Empire State Building (442 m high) will approach the Earth.
An asteroid codenamed 7335 will safely pass our planet at a distance of about 4 million kilometers. However, given the huge size of the space rock (1.8 km in diameter) and relative proximity to Earth, NASA has classified the asteroid as “potentially dangerous”, meaning that it could cause enormous damage to our planet if its orbit ever will change. It is the largest asteroid to approach our planet this year.
Scientists estimate that the asteroid is moving at a speed of about 76,000 km/h. The next time this space rock will visit us is on June 2055. This asteroid is one of 29,000 objects closely monitored by NASA. Most of these space bodies are extremely small, but there are enough big ones.
A separate mission was recently launched to test the possibility of changing the orbit of potentially dangerous asteroids. In November 2021, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft began its journey to the 160-meter-wide asteroid Dimorphos. It will face an asteroid face to face in the fall of 2022 to find out how the trajectory of the asteroid can be changed.