A massive asteroid over a mile wide is expected to make a closer-than-normal trip past the Earth near the end of May, an approach so close that it could be spotted in the sky.
Asteroids fly past the Earth on a regular basis, but Asteroid 7335 (1989 JA) is bigger than many of them, measuring 1.1 miles (5,900 feet) across. For comparison, it is four times larger than the Empire State Building and more than twice as large as the Burj Khalifa, located in Saudi Arabia, and the tallest building on the planet.
On May 27, the mammoth asteroid will make its closest encounter with our planet since its discovery, but rest assured, it will safely pass by with no threat of impact.
An artist’s rendition of an asteroid flying past the Earth. Illustration by Sebastian Kaulitzki/Science Photo Library/Corbis