Asteroid As Massive As Sears Tower Flew By Earth


Asteroid 1998 HL1, which is as massive as a skyscraper flew by Earth at a distance of 6.21 million kilometers away. As distant as it seems, the huge asteroid was about 10 times the average distance to the Moon. The asteroid made its closest approach to Earth on 25th October, according to NASA.

Asteroid As Massive As Sears Tower Flew By Earth


Massive Asteroid 1998 HL1

The asteroid flyby is available in a video captured by the Virtual Telescope Project. The project is an online observatory, where live webcasts about the enormous asteroid were shared. According to NASA, the asteroid 1998 HL1 is potentially hazardous as it can make close approaches to the Earth.

However, the asteroid flyby was not much of a threat this time around. Going into further details, the asteroid 1998 HL1 measures roughly 550m in diameter. That approximately measures as high as the Sears Tower in Chicago, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory confides.

Asteroid As Massive As Sears Tower Flew By Earth

NASA Classifies Massive Asteroids

When it comes to asteroids, NASA classifies them all asteroids whose orbits around the Sun and come within 7.8 million kilometers of the Earth's orbit. Massive asteroids will have a diameter of at least 500 meters and these are considered to be 'potentially hazardous asteroids'.

The asteroid 1998 HL1 flyby was closest to Earth from 25 October to 26 October. During this phase, the gigantic asteroid was found to be slightly closer to Earth, roughly 6.18 million kilometers away. The asteroid 1998 HL1, after giving a scare, was announced as not threatening to the Earth for the foreseeable future.


The thirst to understand celestial events has always encouraged space missions. Asteroids keep flying by Earth and there have been numerous instances of the Earth have a close brush with them. On a recent note, an asteroid as massive as the Burj Khalifa flew by the Earth, but luckily at a safe distance.

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