Watch a 'potentially hazardous' asteroid fly by Earth live on Friday

Asteroid 1998 HL1 is swinging through our neighborhood, and you can cheer it on with a livestream.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

We don't have a close look at HL1, but this NASA illustration shows what an asteroid looks like in space.


Asteroids are zipping past Earth all the time, but we've got a special one coming up. Asteroid 1998 HL1 will be visible to some amateur telescopes, but you can look to the Virtual Telescope Project to bring it right to your eyeballs with a livestream on Friday starting at 10 a.m. PT.

The asteroid's visit will bring it within a cosmically close but still super safe 3.8 million miles (6.2 million kilometers) of Earth. HL1 is classified as "potentially hazardous" thanks to what NASA calls the "potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth." 

No need to panic, though. HL1 won't get this close again until 2051, and even then it's still not expected to hit us. 

The Virtual Telescope Project is already tracking HL1 and created a cool animation of the asteroid trucking across space on Oct. 21. The asteroid appears as a bright point moving against a backdrop of stars.

Asteroid 1998 HL1 is estimated to be between 1,400 and 3,200 feet in size (440 and 990 meters). That means it could potentially be as long as Navy Pier in Chicago. It's a good thing it's on track to miss us. 

Be sure to tell it "Safe travels!" when it flies by on Friday.

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