Watch Live As Asteroid Passes 'Very Close' by Earth

An asteroid is due to make a very close pass by our planet this week, and an astronomer is hoping to broadcast the event live.

2022 GN1 is an approximately house-sized asteroid that is due to pass by Earth on the night of April 5, at about 11:02 p.m. EDT, according to data from NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).

The space rock is estimated to be between 23.5 and 52 feet in diameter.

2022 GN1 is not expected to collide with our planet, though it will pass by very close when compared with other sizable asteroids, coming within 78,000 miles of us—just one third of the distance between Earth and the moon.

When it flies past our planet, 2022 GN1 is expected to be travelling at a speed of around 34,500 miles per hour.

Asteroid
A stock photo shows an illustration of an asteroid against a backdrop of stars. A couple of asteroids are set to pass particularly close to our planet this week, but they are not expected to hit us. iStackphotons/Getty

The asteroid's encounter with Earth will be recorded on video via telescope by astronomer Gianluca Masi, manager of the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy, who described it as "very close, but safe".

The video will be livestreamed on the Virtual Telescope Project's WebTV page, starting at 9:00 p.m. EDT on April 5.

According to CNEOS, as of Tuesday morning only one other asteroid—2022 GQ1—will come as close to Earth as 2022 GN1 will within the next two months. All the rest will be further away than the moon.

2022 GQ1 is expected to fly past our planet at about 7:17 a.m. on Thursday, April 7. Estimated to be between 22 and 50 feet in diameter, it is expected to be travelling at about 17,400 miles per hour. It is not due to collide with our planet.

Scientists are always on the lookout for any asteroid that may pose a danger to Earth. On average, an asteroid larger than about 100 meters (328 feet) would be expected to reach our planet's surface once every 10,000 years or so, according to CNEOS.

This would cause local disasters or tidal waves that could affect low-lying coastal areas.

An asteroid that is more than a kilometer (0.62 miles) in diameter might be expected to hit Earth once every "several hundred thousand years or so," CNEOS states on its website. Such an impact could cause global disasters.

As of Tuesday, astronomers had discovered more than 10,000 near-Earth asteroids more than 100 meters across, and 881 that were more than a kilometer across.

Much smaller asteroids collide with our planet fairly regularly. A loud boom heard in the state of Indiana last week was attributed to a space rock that exploded in the sky.

Correction, 4/6/22, 3:51 a.m. ET: This article has been updated as it previously stated asteroid 2022 GN1 was listed as a potentially hazardous asteroid.