Asteroid 2022 GN1 ‘close approach’ LIVE – Nasa finds space rock set to buzz Earth in just HOURS – watch stream live

A SCHOOLBUS-SIZED asteroid will make a very close approach today, according to space object trackers.

Astronomers only spotted the near-Earth space rock 2022 GN1 a few days ahead of its head-turning flyby on Tuesday evening.

Nasa has logged the 16-meter-long mass on its "close approach" online database, though it poses no danger to our planet.

The asteroid is expected to soar past at a safe distance of around 79,000 miles (127,000 km).

That may sound like a considerable gap but is remarkably close in space terms at around a third of the space between Earth and the Moon.

The Virtual Telescope Project, a set of robotic scopes in Italy, has announced that it will live stream Wednesday's flyby on its website.

The live feed kicks off at 9pm ET on Tuesday.

Please read our Asteroid 2022 GN1 'close approach' live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • Jennifer Korn

    Even small asteroids can be dangerous, continued

    Around 1,600 people were injured when that asteroid exploded, mostly as a result of broken glass from windows, according to NASA as cited by Newsweek.

    The agency’s planetary defense officer Lindley Johnson said it was a “cosmic wake-up call.”

  • Jennifer Korn

    Even small asteroids can be dangerous

    In February 2013, an asteroid that NASA previously described as “house-sized,” so relatively small next to Asteroid 2015 DR215, exploded in the skies, Newsweek noted.

    It exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk after it entered Earth’s atmosphere at around 40,000 miles per hour, and released a shock wave that obliterated windows over 200 square miles when it exploded.

  • Jennifer Korn

    Difference between asteroids, meteors, and comets, part three

    Like asteroids, a comet orbits the Sun.

    However, rather than being made mostly of rock, a comet contains lots of ice and gas, which can result in amazing tails forming behind them as a result of the ice and dust vaporizing.

    “They range from a few miles to tens of miles wide, but as they orbit closer to the Sun, they heat up and spew gases and dust into a glowing head that can be larger than a planet,” Nasa reported.

  • Jennifer Korn

    Difference between asteroids, meteors, and comets, continued

    When two asteroids hit each other, the small chunks that break off are called meteoroids.

    “Meteoroids are objects in space that range in size from dust grains to small asteroids. Think of them as ‘space rocks,’” Nasa reported.

  • Jennifer Korn

    Difference between asteroids, meteors, and comets

    An asteroid is a small rocky body that orbits the Sun.

    They are “rocky, airless remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago,” Nasa reveals.

    Most are found in the asteroid belt (between Mars and Jupiter).

    But they can be found anywhere, including in a path that can impact Earth.

  • Carsen Holaday

    How to watch the livestream

    The live video of the asteroid will be streamed on the Virtual Telescope Project's WebTV page, starting at 9pm ET tonight.

  • Carsen Holaday

    How are asteroids named?

    A provisional designation is given to a freshly found asteroid that consists of the year of discovery and an alphanumeric number denoting the half-month of finding and the sequence within that half-month.

    Once the orbit of an asteroid has been established, it is assigned a number and, in certain cases, a name, according to

    When a name is repeated in running text, it is typical to omit the number entirely or to drop it after the first mention.

    In addition, the discoverer of the asteroid can suggest a name within the International Astronomical Union’s standards.

  • Carsen Holaday

    'Very close, but safe'

    Astronomer Gianluca Masi described the asteroid's upcoming approach as "very close, but safe."

    Masi is the manager of the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy.

    Masi will record the video of the asteroid tonight via telescope.

  • Carsen Holaday

    What is considered a ‘close approach’?

    If an asteroid comes within 4.65million miles of Earth and is over a certain size, it is considered “potentially hazardous” by cautious space agencies.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Saving Earth from asteroids, continued

    Nasa said: “DART is the first-ever mission dedicated to investigating and demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection by changing an asteroid’s motion in space through kinetic impact.”

    The DART craft should hit a small asteroid called Dimorphos in September with the ultimate aim of moving it off course.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Saving Earth from asteroids

    Some experts are worried that Earth isn’t yet ready to defend itself from potentially deadly asteroids.

    SpaceX CEO Elon Musk once sparked concern when he tweeted: “a big rock will hit Earth eventually & we currently have no defense.”

    Nasa is looking into having some defense methods set up, however.

    It recently launched its Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Nasa upgrades asteroid software, part four

    Previously, scientists had to manually do calculations to try and work out the Yarkovsky effect and its impact on an asteroid’s path.

    The hope is that the software can also help Nasa spot any potentially hazardous asteroids it may have missed.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Nasa upgrades asteroid software, part three

    The Sentry-II software will finally let scientists take the Yarkovsky effect into account when they’re trying to figure out if an asteroid is going to hit Earth.

    This was something the original software, called Sentry, couldn’t do.

    Davide Farnocchia, a JPL navigation engineer, said: “The fact that Sentry couldn’t automatically handle the Yarkovsky effect was a limitation.”

  • Carsen Holaday

    Nasa upgrades asteroid software, continued

    Nasa will be upgrading its 20-year-old software with a new algorithm called Sentry-II, which will periodically scan a table of known potentially hazardous asteroids and their orbits.

    Sentry-II will then calculate if any of the asteroids on the table or added to the table have a risk of hitting Earth.

    The new system will be taking into account something called the Yarkovsky effect, which refers to when an asteroid absorbs sunlight and emits it as heat.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Nasa upgrades asteroid software

    NASA has upgraded its asteroid hazard software to better detect potentially dangerous space rocks.

    The US space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) uses a special type of software to assess potentially hazardous asteroids that could slam into Earth.

    There’s no known imminent “doomsday asteroid” on its way but astronomers check the sky often just as a precaution.

  • Carsen Holaday

    The probability of a collision

    In a statement about the probability of collisions with Earth, Nasa wrote that it, “knows of no asteroid or comet currently on a collision course with Earth, so the probability of a major collision is quite small.”

    “In fact, as best as we can tell, no large object is likely to strike the Earth any time in the next several hundred years.”

  • Carsen Holaday

    NEO mission

    Nasa is hoping to launch its Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveyor mission in 2026.

    If the agency does so, it will finally have a spacecraft dedicated only to hunting asteroids.

    The hope is that the NEO Surveyor craft will find 90 percent of asteroids that are 460 feet or larger within the first decade of its mission.

  • Carsen Holaday

    What is a NEO?

    Nasa considers anything passing near Earth’s orbit a Near-Earth Object (NEO).

    Thousands of NEOs are tracked by scientists to monitor whether they’re on a collision course with our planet.

  • Carsen Holaday

    Nasa monitors thousands of asteroids

    Nasa has its eye on nearly 28,000 known near-Earth asteroids, and discoveries of new asteroids are said to go up by their thousands each year.

    On that note, Nasa is hoping to launch its Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveyor mission in 2026.

  • Carsen Holaday

    What is 2022 GQ1 like?

    2022 GQ1 is estimated to be between 22 and 50 feet in diameter.

    The asteroid is expected to be hurtling past Earth at about 17,400 miles per hour

  • Carsen Holaday

    Another close call

    As of Tuesday morning, only one other asteroid will come as close to earth as 2022 GN1 in the next two months — the rest of the space rocks will be further away than the moon, according to Nasa.

    The other asteroid cutting it close is named 2022 GQ1.

    2022 GQ1 is expected to fly past Earth just after 7am on Thursday, April 7.

  • Carsen Holaday

    When is the livestream?

    The asteroid's encounter with Earth will be recorded on video via telescope by astronomer Gianluca Masi.

    The video will be livestreamed on the Virtual Telescope Project's WebTV page, starting at 9:00pm ET on Tuesday.

  • Carsen Holaday

    What is the Main Asteroid Belt?

    The bulk of known asteroids orbits between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt, with relatively short orbits.

    There are between 1.1 and 1.9million asteroids bigger than one kilometer (0.6 miles) in diameter in the belt, as well as millions of smaller ones.

    The gravity of freshly created Jupiter stopped the development of planetary bodies in this region early in the solar system’s existence, causing the tiny things to smash with one another, fragmenting them into the asteroids we see today.

  • Carsen Holaday

    When will the asteroid fly by?

    According to Nasa’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, asteroid 2022 GN1 will make its close pass around 11:02pm ET on Tuesday.

  • Carsen Holaday

    What is considered a ‘potentially hazardous’ asteroid?

    Any space object that comes within 4.65 million miles of us is considered “potentially hazardous” by cautious space organizations.

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