Huge space rock ‘Asteroid 2005 YU55’ to pass over Earth on November 8, closer than the Moon

By on Nov 7, 2011 in Astronomy, Science, World Comments

Updated: November 9, 2011 2:20 p.m.

Read Giant asteroid flyby 2005 YU55 passes over Earth, closer than the Moon (Video)

A huge space rock called ‘Asteroid 2005 YU55‘ will pass over Earth on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, and apparently will be closer than the Moon, with the infographic of its path shown below.

space-rock-Asteroid-2005-YU55-pass-Earth-Nov-8

Asteroid 2005 YU55 path (Click Image
To Enlarge)

Image Credit: Space.com

As noted at NASA.gov recently, asteroid 2005 YU55 will make its closest approach to Earth on 6:28 p.m ET (3:28 p.m. PST) that day and NASA scientists will be tracking its movement.

According to the report, the closest distance of giant asteroid to Earth will be 201,700 miles (324,600 kilometers) or 0.85 the distance from the moon to Earth, which is about 238,854 miles (384,399 kilometers).

Nevertheless, the said giant asteroid, which is about 1,300 feet (400 meters) and the largest space rock to have a close encounter with Earth with advance notice in 35 years, will not hit the Moon.

As noted at Space.com, NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office director Don Yeomans said that the moon is out of danger when the asteroid gets closer to the moon, citing its reasonable distance.

Yeomans noted that ‘Asteroid 2005 YU55‘ will have a speed of about 30,000 miles per hour (13 km/s) and the moon will be about one-fourth of its way to the opposite side of Earth. They will be about over 150,000 miles (240,000 km) apart.

“It would be a significant event on the moon, certainly,” Yeomans told Life’s Little Mysteries, when asked what will happen in case the giant asteroid will collide with the moon.

“It wouldn’t move the moon around at all, but it would cause a significant impact crater … at least 4 kilometers [2.5 miles] wide. That’s significant, but still a pretty small crater in terms of the hierarchy of lunar craters.” He added.

Apparently, asteroid 2005 YU55 cannot be seen by human eye but Scott Fisher, program director of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Astronomical Sciences, reportedly said it can still be viewed using a special telescope with at least a 6-inch mirror.

“It turns out that YU55 is going to be pretty faint when it flies by,” Fisher was quoted as saying, noting that it will be moving very fast, making it more difficult to see.

“The best time to observe it would be in the early evening on November 8th from the east coast of the US.” He added, who also assured that Earth is safe when the YU55 approaches the planet on its nearest path.

Meanwhile, the phenomenon of the asteroid YU55, which is about four football fields long, is being considered as rare since the last one reportedly occurred in 1976 and the next one will be in 2028.



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