Watch Live As Gigantic 3,000-foot-wide Asteroid Zooms Past Earth: 'This Is a Unique Opportunity'

An enormous asteroid larger than the world's tallest building will sail safely past our planet this week, according to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). You can watch the close encounter online thanks the Virtual Telescope Project (VTP).

The VTP is a publicly available online service managed by astronomer Gianluca Masi, consisting of several robotic telescopes that are remotely accessible in real-time over the internet. The service will be providing a live feed of the asteroid, known as 162082 (1998 HL1), starting at 1 p.m. EDT on October 25—which is around 20 minutes before the object will make its closest approach.

At this point, the space rock—which is estimated to measure between 1,443 and 3,248 feet in diameter—will be 0.04155 astronomical units, or 3,862,313 miles, from Earth, or roughly equivalent to 16 times the distance between the Earth and the moon. This means there is no chance it can strike our planet.

Due to its size—the asteroid would be taller than the famous Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, the world's highest structure—1998 HL1 will appear quite bright in the sky as it flies past Earth at speeds of around 25,000 miles per hour.

1998 HL1 is classified as a near-Earth object—any comet or asteroid whose orbit around the sun brings it within 121 million miles of the star and 30 million miles of our planet. It is also defined as "potentially hazardous" like other objects which are predicted to come within 0.05 astronomical units (4,647,790 miles) of Earth and are thought to measure more than 460 feet in diameter.

Amateur astronomers take note because, according to Masi, the relatively close distance and large size of the object means that it will be easily visible through small telescopes. He said being able to observe a potentially hazardous asteroid of this size with readily available telescope technology is a rare treat.

"Having a potentially hazardous asteroid visible with small scopes is not frequent," Masi told Newsweek. "[In] the past 12 months, we had only two similar size—actually a bit larger—objects coming closer. So this is a unique opportunity to see it with personal, small telescopes."

The space rock will be directly visible with small telescopes for a few days. Masi has created a star map that shows where you can look for the asteroid with your own telescope. The asteroid's motion will make it recognizable against the background of stars.

asteroid, 162082 (1998 HL1)
An image of the asteroid 162082 (1998 HL1.) Gianluca Masi/Virtual Telescope Project

"If you have a good digital camera, you can capture the asteroid with even smaller telescopes, keep in mind!" Masi wrote on the VTP website.

In fact, Masi has already imaged the object as it approaches the Earth using a robotic telescope known as "Elena." The image above, taken on October 21, comes from a single 300-second exposure.