Large Asteroid to Buzz Earth Tonight—Watch It Live

Find out how to see space rock 2012 LZ1 swing by our planet.

Dubbed 2012 LZ1, the near-Earth asteroid was discovered in images snapped on June 10 and 11 by comet and asteroid hunter Robert McNaught at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.

(Read about a green comet spotted by McNaught in June 2010.)

So far astronomers have cataloged almost 9,000 near-Earth objects—asteroids and comets that come within about 120 million miles (195 million kilometers) of our home world.

Of these, just over 1,300 are classified as potentially hazardous, because they come within 4.6 million miles (7.4 million kilometers) of Earth and are more than 500 feet (150 meters) wide—large enough to pose a threat.

At its closest approach, the newfound space rock will swing by our planet at a distance of roughly 3.3 million

DON'T MISS THE REST OF THIS STORY!
Create a free account to continue and get unlimited access to hundreds of Nat Geo articles, plus newsletters.

Create your free account to continue reading

No credit card required. Unlimited access to free content.
Or get a Premium Subscription to access the best of Nat Geo - just $19
SUBSCRIBE

Read This Next

Is banning fishing bad for fishermen? Not in this marine reserve
SeaWorld allegedly violated the Animal Welfare Act. Why is it still open?
'World’s worst shipwreck' was bloodier than we thought

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet