Skip to comments.Huge asteroid headed for close encounter with Earth (Asteroid 2005 YU 55)
Posted on 11/04/2011 12:09:23 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla (Reuters) - A huge asteroid will pass closer to Earth than the moon on Tuesday, giving scientists a rare chance for study without having to go through the time and expense of launching a probe, officials said.
Earth's close encounter with Asteroid 2005 YU 55 will occur at 6:28 p.m. EST on Tuesday, as the space rock sails about 201,000 miles from the planet.
"It is the first time since 1976 that an object of this size has passed this closely to the Earth. It gives us a great -- and rare -- chance to study a near-Earth object like this," astronomer Scott Fisher, a program director with the National Science Foundation, ..
The orbit and position of the asteroid, which is about 1,312 feet in diameter, is well known, added senior research scientist Don Yeomans, with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
"There is no chance that this object will collide with the Earth or moon," Yeomans said.
Thousands of amateur and professional astronomers are expected to track YU 55's approach, which will be visible from the planet's northern hemisphere. It will be too dim to be seen with the naked eye, however, and it will be moving too fast for viewing by the Hubble Space Telescope.
"The best time to observe it would be in the early evening on November 8 from the East Coast of the United States," Yeomans said. ...
Scientists suspect YU 55 has been visiting Earth for thousands of years, but because gravitational tugs from the planets occasionally tweak its path, they cannot tell for sure how long the asteroid has been in its present orbit.
"These sorts of events have been happening for most of the lifetime of the Earth, about 4.5 billion years," Fisher said.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
For Gawds Sakes! Somebody do something!!!!
"Why am I the only guy you call on when these things are aiming at Earth?"
Too bad that the moon wasn’t in line for a direct hit. I wonder if we could see that if it did happen?
If it happened in the right place we’d get a hell of a meteor shower if it didn’t kick up any really big chunks.
The asteroid is heading to Earth and will wipe out all life. It can only be stopped by a nuke delivered by NASA.
Ron Paul has announced his opposition because military actions are not covered in NASA’s charter and would be unconstitutional.
It's actually not an asteriod....it's the mother ship coming to take Ron Paul back home.
No preemptive strikes on asteroids!!!!
asteriod = asteroid
Blaming the smart-phone again. :-D
I am no astronomer, but I find that graphic interesting in that I see no deviation due to gravity. Seems like the earth should pull it a little closer to earth.
Asteroids are a far more credible extinction-level threat than global warming. But doing the work needed to detect and divert large earth-bound asteroids doesn’t provide opportunities for the Left to take even more control of the economy and how people live their lives, so the issue doesn’t get nearly the attention or funding it deserves.
riders to the bill included DREAM Act, free diapers, mandatory unionization of students and a tax on good clean fun
That’s because its a very simple graphic and any deviation caused by its close flyby is probably too small to be noticable on that small of a scale.
If it isnt on the side we cant see, it would be an awesome sight. Bright flash, tons of lunar soil that would go flying out into space.
Depending on how big this asteroid is, it might create a dust tail flowing out from the moon that would be easily visible, or some might get pulled into our atmosphere for a spectacular meteorite show.
Is this the asteroid the Japanese are going to blast? I thought I read that somewhere.
I just wish we were at the level where we could have nudged it into a stable Earth orbit as a 2nd moon/mining colony.
From the Time Machine movie broken moon.
And no one knows how all these asteroids were made. It’s a rock. Did it spontaneously coalesce? Unlikely. Has to be from a bigger body.
Maybe it’ll bring back the dinosaurs!
It’s 1000 feet wide. One guy and a pick?
It does. The curvature of the trajectory at that scale should be imperceptible.
Get ready for the .... zombies.
I totally thought it said 1000 miles.
Picard to the rescue!
We are all going to die! In less than 125 years, every man, woman and child now living on Earth will be dead!!!
It’s Bush’s fault. Women and minorities will be hardest hit.
Yeah...just wait until it starts decelerating!
Remember that Government often awards contacts based on the low bid... What could possibly go wrong :^)
The denizens of the fifth rock from the sun pissed the Martians off. They kept landing junk on the Martians planet...
I guess you didn't get the memo; the latest computer models prove that asteroid impacts are caused by global warming.
If NASA held a news conference on Saturday afternoon and announced that this asteriod was going to slam into the New York metropolitan area on Tuesday morning, on Saturday night CBS News would have as the lead story, “Herman Cain Facing Sexual Harassment Charges.”
“For Gawds Sakes! Somebody do something!!!!”
If it hits, hopefully it hits Pelosi’s district or georgetown.
Is Farrakan preping?
“We are all going to die! In less than 125 years, every man, woman and child now living on Earth will be dead!!!”
Correct on two counts, now about this asteroid :)
bump to remind myself to go out and try to take pictures.
Momentary (relatively) gravity versus the speed of it is near-absolutely inconsequential.
Now I know. Thanks.
Still doesn’t look like an Idaho spud to me?
Things that make you say hmmmm.
Right. Or gravity did it.
That would have made a great video.
Over at WU:
Asteroid 2005 YU55 To Narrowly Miss Earth (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
An asteroid a quarter-mile-wide will, astronomically speaking, narrowly miss Earth next week.
And while it is the closest an asteroid this size has come to the home planet since 1976, there’s no need to call Bruce Willis ... yet.
“There is no chance that this object will collide with the Earth or moon,” Don Yeomans, the manager of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program office, told Reuters.
But that doesn’t mean the asteroid — named 2005 YU55 — won’t be a threat to earth in the future.
Lance Benner, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a video from NASA (available below) that scientists haven’t been able to reliably compute the asteroid’s path beyond a couple of hundred years from now.
At its closest point, the space rock will be about 201,700 miles (324,600 kilometers) away, which is 0.85 the distance between the moon and the Earth. NASA says that the asteroid will reach this point at 6:28 p.m. EST on Tuesday.
“In effect, it’ll be moving straight at us from one direction, and then go whizzing by straight away from us in the other direction,” Benner said.
An asteroid this size — which, according to Scientific American is larger than an aircraft carrier — would cause widespread damage if it were to hit Earth, however. The Associated Press spoke to Jay Melosh, a professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Purdue University, who said that the asteroid would create a four-mile wide crater 1,700 feet deep. It could cause 70-foot tsunami waves and shake the ground like a magnitude-7 earthquake.
Even though the asteroid will be inside the orbit of the moon, NASA said that the space rock’s gravitational pull shouldn’t have any “detectable effect” on Earth’s tectonic plates or tides.
Yeomans told HuffPost that the flyby will give astronomers a great view of 2005 YU55 and is an opportunity to do research into the asteroid’s composition. He said that it’s a C-Type asteroid, which means it contains carbon-based minerals which could potentially be used in future space exploration.
“These objects are important for science ... they’re potential resources for raw materials in space that we may wish to take advantage of some day,” he said.
The New York Times reported last month on proposed fuel stations in space that one study says could put astronauts on an asteroid by 2024.
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