Skyscraper-Sized Asteroid Will Zoom Past Us Monday Night—Here's How to See It

Scientists say it's "potentially hazardous," but there's no reason to panic.

When you look up at the night sky, you expect to see a few things—constellations, the moon, and, if you're lucky, maybe a shooting star. What's a lot less likely is spotting a skyscraper-sized asteroid flying overhead. And that's probably a good thing! On Monday, however, that's exactly what you'll be able to see, according to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) data. Read on to find out more about this massive asteroid, and how you can watch it zoom past Earth on Monday night.

READ THIS NEXT: A Special Solar Eclipse Will Create a "Ring of Fire" in the U.S.—Here's How to See It.

The building-size asteroid will enter our orbit in just three days.

one world trade center
Christopher Penler / Shutterstock

On Monday, June 12, an asteroid dubbed 1994 XD will be making its way through the sky and will be "relatively close" to Earth, according to The Virtual Telescope Project 2.0. The asteroid gets its name thanks to the year it was discovered, and was first spotted by a Spacewatch Group at Kitt Peak Observatory in Arizona.

Scientists estimate that the asteroid is somewhere between 1,214 and 2,723 feet in diameter (370 to 830 meters)—and while that is relatively small for an asteroid, per the Houston Chronicle, it's by no means "small" by our standards.

For comparison, One World Trade Center in New York City—the tallest building in the U.S.—stands 1,776 feet tall (541 meters), while the Empire State Building is almost 1,500 feet tall (443 meters) at its highest point.

You can watch the asteroid fly past via a livestream.

woman looking at laptop at night
Ground Picture / Shutterstock

The asteroid is expected to be closest to Earth right before 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Monday, per The Virtual Telescope Project 2.0. At its closest point, 1994 XD will be 0.02114 Astronomical Units (au), or roughly 1.9 million miles, from Earth. For reference, that's roughly eight times the distance between Earth and the moon.

The asteroid will zoom past us at a speed of 21.47 kilometers per second, or roughly 48,027 miles per hour, according to the CNEOS data.

Want to see if for yourself? You don't even have to go outside: Watch 1994 XD in action via livestreams provided by The Virtual Telescope Project or WorldCam on YouTube on Monday evening.

RELATED: For more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

The asteroid doesn't put Earth at risk, but it is "potentially hazardous."

asteroid in the night sky
Vadim Sadovski / Shutterstock

NASA considers 1994 XD "potentially hazardous" due to the fact that it's within the minimum distance between the Earth and the sun, the Houston Chronicle reported. Rest assured, though, that you don't need to worry about the asteroid posing any threat to us here on Earth.

"The potentially hazardous designation simply means over many centuries and millennia the asteroid's orbit may evolve into one that has a chance of impacting Earth. We do not assess these long-term, many-century possibilities of impact," Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, told Newsweek last year.

1994 XD won't be this close to Earth again for almost two decades.

asteroid near earth
buradaki / Shutterstock

You don't want to miss glimpsing 1994 XD, as it won't be this close to Earth again until 2041.

Citing data from NASA's database, Newsweek reported that 1994 XD orbits the sun once about every 3.6 years, but it's not always this close to Earth.

In addition, it's not the only asteroid that's nearing our planet in June. According to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology there are five impending asteroid approaches, including one that's the size of a house, two that are airplane-sized, one that is bridge-sized, and of course, 1994 XD, which is the largest of the bunch.

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
Filed Under
Sources referenced in this article
  1. Source:
  2. Source:
  3. Source: