If Netflix’s Don’t Look Up taught us anything, it’s that we should take every opportunity to point our peepers north, especially today. According to NASA’s asteroid watch, Earth is in for quite the show this afternoon as the flaming space rock known as 1994 PC 1 passes earth at its closest point since 1933.
First discovered 28 years ago by astronomer Robert McNaught, this particular meteor is 1 km wide and can be seen by anyone with an internet connection or a telescope throughout the day (with peak brightness at 2:51 pm MST/4:51 EST).
With 1.98 million kilometres of distance between us, PC 1 is not a threat to society as we know it – but it’s still a pretty big deal. After all, we only get this close once every 200 years!
Near-Earth #asteroid 1994 PC1 (~1 km wide) is very well known and has been studied for decades by our #PlanetaryDefense experts. Rest assured, 1994 PC1 will safely fly past our planet 1.2 million miles away next Tues., Jan. 18.
— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) January 12, 2022
If you’d like to see it with your very own eyes, there are a few ways that North Americans are encouraged to catch a glimpse:
- With a telescope or a pair of binoculars – as it will still be light outside at peak on this side of the globe, it’s best to view it right at dusk (you can see asteroid coordinates here)
- No telescope? No problem. You can also view it online via the Virtual Telescope Project website here – Live stream starts at 1 pm MST/3 pm ET/12 pT.
Of course, your personal experience with 1994 PC 1 will be dependant on the weather so cross your fingers for a clear evening. You won’t want to miss this one!
When: Tuesday, January 18th