Monday, November 07, 2011

Passing by

Welcome to the neighborhood.


NASA has captured a new radar image of 2005 YU55, the huge asteroid due to make a close approach to Earth tomorrow (Nov. 8).

The agency's Deep Space Network antenna in Goldstone, Calif. snapped the image at 2:45 p.m. EST (1945 GMT) today (Nov. 7), when the aircraft-carrier-size 2005 YU55 was about 860,000 miles (1.38 million kilometers) from Earth, NASA officials said.

2005 YU55, which is 1,300 feet (400 meters) wide, will get quite a bit closer still. It will come within about 201,700 miles (324,600 km) of our planet at 6:28 p.m. EST (2328 GMT) tomorrow — closer than the moon, which orbits 238,864 miles (384,499 km) from us on average.

A space rock of this size hasn't come so near to Earth since 1976 and won't again until 2028. But there is no danger of 2005 YU55 striking Earth or the moon on this pass, or any other passes for at least the next 100 years or so, researchers said.

Don't be a stranger. But, still, don't get too close.

I hope you understand.

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