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'Potentially hazardous' asteroid the size of the Empire State Building will skim past Earth TOMORROW in close flyby

March 6, 2018 9:09 PM
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A monster asteroid the size of the Empire State Building is set to fly past Earth tomorrow at a dizzying speed of 14,092 miles per hour.

The asteroid, dubbed 2017 VR12, is expected to pass within 900,000 miles of Earth around 7:53am (EST) on Wednesday.

With a diameter between 700ft and 1,500ft, VR12 could be bigger than New York City's Empire State Building, which is 1,450ft tall.

VR12's close encounter to Earth has earned it the designation of a 'potentially hazardous asteroid' by NASA.

The space agency describes asteroids as 'hazardous' if they come within 4,600,000 miles of our planet.

Late Wednesday evening, VR12 will fly past earth at a distance of 897,000 miles.

However, NASA cautioned that there's no possibility that 2017 VR12 will collide with Earth.

In fact, the agency believes the asteroid could be a perfect target for future aerospace studies.

'This object is on the NHATS list of potential spacecraft mission targets, although no mission is actually planned for this object,' the agency explained.

VR12 was previously estimated to be as much as 470 meters wide, causing experts to believe that it was bigger than Buckingham Palace.

According to NASA, 2017 VR12 was first discovered by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii on Nov. 10, 2017.

It's not supposed to come within Earth's range for another 177 years or so.

Thanks to the virtual telescope project, people all over the world will be able to see the skyscraper-sized asteroid zoom past the earth using a live webcast.

Stargazers can watch the VR12 fly by the earth using the 16-inch robotic telescope at the Tenagra Observatories in Arizona as part of the Virtual Telescope Project and Tenagra Observatories.

VR12 is passing by just a few days after a bus-sized asteroid, 2018 DV1, came within 65,000 miles of our planet last week.

The DV1 has a diameter between 20 to 40 feet and flew past at a speed of 11,600mph.

Source: dailymail.co.uk

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