The Earth is gonna get buzzed by an asteroid tomorrow evening at 6:28pm EST. The asteroid is named 2055 YU55 and it’s going to come closer to Earth than the moon. Which is frighteningly close. I personally think this is mind blowing.
Photo of Asteroid 2005 YU55 and graph of it’s near-Earth trajectory . This radar image of asteroid 2005 YU55 was obtained on Nov. 7, 2011, at 11:45 a.m. PST, when the space rock was at 3.6 lunar distances, which is about 860,000 miles, from Earth. CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Asteroid 2005 YU55:
– Relatively spherical
– 1,300 feet wide
– About the size of an aircraft carrier.
– Going to come within about 201,700 miles of Earth
– The moon orbits Earth at 238,864 miles from Earth on average
– Buzzes our planet often completing one lap around the sun every 15 months
– This is the closest flyby in at least 200 years
– Closest approach by an asteroid this large that we’ve known about in advance
Great video with solid information on 2005 YU55 and how NASA is attacking it.
The last time a space rock came that close to Earth was in 1976. Another asteroid won’t come this close again until 2028. Experts say there is no way that 2005 YU55 will hit Earth nor the moon now nor in the next 100 years as it continues to pass us.
“The gravitational influence of the asteroid will have no detectable effect on anything here on Earth, including our planet’s tides or tectonic plates” – Mike Wall space.com
NASA is fired up about capturing data as this thing flies by. They are geared up and ready to get some high quality photos with detail in the 7 foot/pixel range.
“The 230-foot (70-m) Goldstone antenna (in California) has been tracking 2005 YU55 since Nov. 4 and will continue to do so until Nov. 10, researchers said. And scientists will begin following the asteroid with the even larger Arecibo Planetary Radar Facility in Puerto Rico tomorrow.” – Mike Wall space.com
During the fly by researchers hope to obtain more data about 2005 YU55: how big it is, features on the asteroid, info on asteroid’s rotation period, and its exact trajectory.
Will you be able to see it?
“It turns out that YU55 is going to be pretty faint when it flies by. To make it even more difficult to observe … it will be moving VERY quickly across the sky as it passes.” – Scott Fisher, program director of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Astronomical Sciences
Trippy radar video of 2005 YU55 flying thru space.
You will not be able to see the asteroid with the naked eye. You’ll need a telescope with an at least 6 inch mirror.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA has 2005 YU55 coordinates on its Solar System Dynamics website, which should help you find the asteroid as it zips by: NASA’s Solar System Dyanmics website.