Massive asteroid 4 times size of Empire State building zooming by Earth Friday: How to watch

A massive asteroid roughly four times the size of the Empire State Building will zoom by the Earth Friday (May 27th). But don’t cancel Saturday’s plans – NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies said the asteroid, named 7335 (1989 JA), will miss the Earth by some 2.5 million miles, nearly 10 times the average distance between the Earth and the moon.

According to Space.com, 7335 is the largest asteroid making a close approach to Earth this year. Traveling at 47,200 mph, it won’t make another close flyby until June 23, 2055 when it will soar past at a distance of about 70 times the distance between the Earth and the moon.

The asteroid is one more than 29,000 near-Earth objects NASA tracks each year. To be classified as a NEO, the astronomical object must pass within 30 million miles of the Earth’s orbit, NASA said.

Most of the objects are extremely small, while 7335 measures larger than about 99% of NEOs that NASA follows, Space.com reported.

How to watch the asteroid

7335 (1989 JA) will be too far away to witness with the naked eye but you may be able to watch with a powerful telescope. Or, you can watch via the Virtual Telescope Project website. The stream will begin Thursday (May 26th) at 8 pm CDT.

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