Large asteroid will pass close to Earth

20 April, 2017, 09:35 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
  • The earth has asteroids whizzing past it several times a week but these are smaller in size that the one expected on April 19

The roughly 2,000-foot asteroid is now under observation by NASA's NEO Observations Program in collaboration with the University of Arizona, which monitors near-Earth objects to ensure that none present an immediate threat to the planet.

Experts estimate the rock will pass Earth safely and it will not make another pass so close for another 480 years.

Radar has been used to observe hundreds of asteroids. "It's not very common for one of this size to pass by the Earth".

The asteroid was discovered about three years ago by astronomers at NASA's NEO Observations Program in Tucson, Arizona.

Spotted in 2014, this will be asteroid 2014 JO25's closest approach to the Earth since the last 400 years.

Not much is known about the latest asteroid, though reports indicate it has a reflective surface twice as bright as the moon.

Wednesday night, asteroid 2014 JO25 will pass though the constellations Canes Venatici and Coma Berenices in the eastern sky. It only means that 2014-JO25 will be five times closer to Earth than the Moon.

In 2004, the 3.1-mile [5-km] wide asteroid Toutatis passed about four lunar distances, or just under a million miles [1.6 million km] from Earth.

2014-JO25 will then continue on past Jupiter before heading back toward the centre of our Solar System. A giant asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, but the folks at NASA say there is no chance it could hit us.

Wednesday's asteroid, roughly 2,000 feet wide, will approach Earth from the direction of the sun and will become visible in the night sky after Wednesday.

But don't worry, NASA said there is no asteroid that poses a significant risk of impact with Earth over the next century. There is no possibility the asteroid will collide with the Earth.

Any asteroid larger than 100 metres which passes close to Earth is designated "potentially hazardous" by NASA.

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