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.