How to watch the enormous asteroid passing Earth — live now

Art of an asteroid above earth
(Image credit: Science Photo Library - ANDRZEJ WOJCICKI)

You don't wanna miss a thing, as right now you can watch an asteroid expected to fly by Earth today (Tuesday, Jan. 18), as our planet avoids an Armageddon/Don't Look Up-esque situation. Yes, a 3,280-foot asteroid is expected to come near (but not too close to) Earth later today. 

Our sister site reports that the asteroid, known as asteroid 7482 (1994 PC1), will come within 1 million miles of Earth. This is the closest that this asteroid will get to Earth for the next 200 years, according to astronomers cited by EarthSky (which notes that the asteroid is around 2.5x the height of the Empire State Building). An asteroid of this size reportedly "strikes" Earth once every 600,000 years. So, we should consider ourselves very lucky.

But, seriously, do not worry. Just watch. All reputable outlets and sources say there is nothing to be concerned about with this giant passing rock. NASA says that this asteroid is "very well known," as it's been studied for decades.

The fact that we're paying attention to this visually-interesting event is more tied to a mission to simply be paying more attention. Back in 2005, Congress demanded a study of at least 90% of all near Earth objects of 460 feet and larger.

How to watch the asteroid pass Earth

Below you will find a video feed from Italy's Virtual Telescope Project, which will live stream the event starting at 3 p.m. ET. 

But that's not the exact time to have your eyes on the feed. Estimates from the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory place asteroid 7482 (1994 PC1) as being nearest to Earth at approximately 4:51 p.m. ET / 1:51 p.m. PT / 9:51 p.m. GMT.

About asteroid 7482: what to look for

Originally discovered in Australia on August 9, 1994 by astronomer Robert McNaught, asteroid 7482 has been examined for 47 years (which is how experts know enough to say we're safe today). 

Estimated to be traveling at 43,754 miles per hour (19.56 kilometers per second) relative to Earth, asteroid 7482 should have an appearance similar to that of a star. 

Hobbyists with backyard telescopes in North America may be able to see it without the feed, though it's passing during daylight won't be of any help.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.