'Potentially hazardous' asteroid zooms close to Earth

If the asteroid had hit Earth, it could have been catastrophic.

May 27, 2022, 11:51 AM

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.

PHOTO: Orbit calculations for the 7335 asteroid (1989 JA) for on May 27, 2022, are shown in NASA's Jet propulsion Lab, Small-Body database at California Institute of Technology.
Orbit calculations for the 7335 asteroid (1989 JA) for on May 27, 2022, are shown in NASA's Jet propulsion Lab, Small-Body database at California Institute of Technology.
California Institute of Technology/NASA

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.

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