How to see asteroid bigger than Empire State Building passing Earth

MIAMI – An asteroid about the size of the Empire State Building will swing by Earth tonight, and if the conditions are right, it could be visible through a run-of-the-mill telescope.

Asteroid 2017 VR12 will pass within 897,000 miles of the planet, which is less than four times the distance between the Earth and moon.

The asteroid is thought to measure 1,600 feet in diameter and will first pass over the U.S. just before 11:00 p.m. Tuesday on the East Coast. It will reach its minimum distance from the planet on Thursday morning.

Using optical aid, observers in eastern North America can try to spot the asteroid on March 6 at about 11 p.m. EST. The asteroid will be in front of the constellation Virgo, which will be rising over the eastern horizon around that time. That area of the sky will be visible from Los Angeles, California and the rest of western North America after about 9:30 p.m. PST. -

Despite its smaller size and safe distance away from Earth, Asteroid 2017 VR12 is still classified as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" by the Minor Planet Center, according to

If the skies are clear, the asteroid will be visible with a telescope, but CLICK HERE to watch the asteroid live online.