A near-Earth asteroid whizzes by

November 7, 2011

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A large space rock, dubbed Asteroid 2005 YU55, will pass closely to Earth on November 8th and 9th this year - allowing much of the world to witness. On this rather rare occasion, the asteroid will come within 85 percent of the distance to the Moon from Earth. On average, the Moon is around 238,857 miles from the Earth but, at the asteroid's closest approach (occurring at 6:28pm EST) it will be located about 201,700 miles away as shown in the image above. This relatively hefty asteroid spans 1,300 miles across, making it larger than an aircraft carrier. Although Asteroid 2005 YU55 is deemed a near-Earth object, NASA has stated that our planet is in no danger during its closest passage.  The next near-Earth event of this kind will happen in 2028, when the Asteroid 2001 WN5 will come within 60 percent of the Earth-Moon distance. 

For more information: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news171.html