Watch Livestream of Giant 'Potentially Hazardous' Asteroid 1994 PC1 Passing Earth Tomorrow

Astronomers are tracking a potentially hazardous asteroid called 7482 (1994 PC1) through the sky on Tuesday this week as it's set to make a relatively close pass by our planet—and you can watch it live.

The space rock, one of the biggest ones expected to come near Earth in the coming months, is thought to be around 1 kilometer wide, or 3,300 feet in diameter.

1994 PC1 is not expected to hit our planet, but it will come within around five times the distance between our planet and the moon. Its close pass is due to take place at around 4:51 p.m. ET on January 18.

By contrast, other large asteroids over a kilometer wide are set to make their own "close approach" to Earth in the coming months but will be as far as 70 times the distance between our planet and the moon.

1994 PC1 is not just big, but fast. When it's closest to Earth, the space rock is expected to be traveling at a speed of around 45,000 miles per hour.

Despite its speed, astronomers are hoping to get a good shot of 1994 PC1. The Virtual Telescope Project is set to host a livestream of the asteroid as it passes overhead on Tuesday.

The online video is set to start at 3:00 p.m. ET on January 18 on the Virtual Telescope Project's WebTV page.

The astronomy group has also been able to capture images of the James Webb Space Telescope via its ground-based telescope equipment recently.

1994 PC1 has made headlines recently due to its size and approach. According to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) the asteroid is classed as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" or PHA.

This means that it falls within CNEOS's definition of a PHA as being sufficiently large and coming within around 4,650,000 miles of Earth. An asteroid being classed as a PHA does not mean that it is expected to hit Earth.

As its name suggests, 1994 PC1 was discovered in the year 1994 at the Siding Spring observatory in Australia by Robert McNaught, according to the Minor Planet Center. The asteroid orbits the sun once every 572 days or so.

After it makes its pass by Earth this week, 1994 PC1 is not expected to come so close to Earth again until the next century.

It is common for other asteroids to make close approaches to Earth, though. Several have already done so this year.

Scientists are increasingly wary of the risks that asteroids pose to our planet and in 2021 NASA launched the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission to trial a potential future defense method that will involve crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid at high speed.

Asteroid
Illustration of an asteroid in space. Asteroids pass Earth all the time—some closer than others. vencavolrab/Getty