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Large Asteroid To Zoom Past Earth In Cosmic Close Call

August 17, 2011 1 comment

irishweatheronline

The third near-earth asteroid of 2011 will pass between the moon and earth later this year, NASA has confirmed.

The 575-foot-wide  (175 metres) asteroid, which is more than one and a half times the length of a soccer pitch, will pass within 0.85 lunar distances of the Earth on November 8, 2011.

Discovered on December 28, 2005 by Robert McMillan of the Spacewatch Program near Tucson, Arizona, 2005 YU55 is believed to be a very dark, nearly spherical object.

According to NASA’s Near Earth Object Program: “Although classified as a potentially hazardous object, 2005 YU55 poses no threat of an Earth collision over at least the next 100 years. However, this will be the closest approach to date by an object this large that we know about in advance and an event of this type will not happen again until 2028 when asteroid (153814) 2001 WN5 will pass to within Read more…

Asteroid 2005 YU55 To Approach Earth Nov 8 2011

March 31, 2011 Comments off

spacedaily.com
Near-Earth asteroid 2005 YU55 will pass within 0.85 lunar distances from the Earth on November 8, 2011. The upcoming close approach by this relatively large 400 meter-sized, C-type asteroid presents an excellent opportunity for synergistic ground-based observations including optical, near infrared and radar data.

An animated illustration by JPL shows the Earth and moon flyby geometry for November 8th and 9th when the object will reach a visual brightness of 11th magnitude and should be easily visible to observers in the northern and southern hemispheres.

Click to view the projected movement in action

The closest approach to Earth and the Moon will be respectively 0.00217 AU and 0.00160 AU on 2011 November 8 at 23:28 and November 9 at 07:13 UT.

Discovered December 28, 2005 by Robert McMillan of the Spacewatch Program near Tucson Arizona, the object has been previously observed by Mike Nolan, Ellen Howell and colleagues with the Arecibo radar on April 19-21, 2010 and shown to be a very dark, nearly spherical object 400 meters in diameter.

Because of its approximate 20-hour rotation period, ideal radar observations should include tracks that are 8 hours or longer on multiple dates at Goldstone (November 3-11) and when the object enters Arecibo’s observing window on November 8th. Read more…