Apr 30, 2011

In November, A Massive "potentially hazardous asteroid" Will Fly Very Close To Earth

The rest of us will get our reminder in November, when a massive asteroid will make a close flyby of Earth at a distance of just 0.85 lunar distances. Asteroid 2005 YU55 was discovered six years ago and does not pose a collision risk, but it is passing close enough to be deemed a "potentially hazardous asteroid" by the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass. And in the grand scheme of the universe--or even the solar system--it will pass extremely close to the home planet 

Giant Kill Rock Fly-By, November 2011
Space.com Mark your calendars for an impressive and upcoming flyby of an asteroid that’s one of the larger potentially perilous space rocks in the heavens – in terms of smacking the Earth in the future.

It’s the case of asteroid 2005 YU55, a round mini-world that is about 1,300 feet (400 meters) in diameter. In early November, this asteroid will approach Earth within a scant 0.85 lunar distances.

Close and big

“The close Earth approach of 2005 YU55 on Nov. 8, is unusual since it is close and big. On average, one wouldn’t expect an object this big to pass this close but every 30 years,” said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. [Photos: Asteroids in Deep Space]