Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Asteroid 2005 YU55 Permission To Fly By

Your Guide to the Asteroid Encounter - Cosmic Log 11/7/11

The Asteroid 2005 YU55 will be the closest object to earth in nearly 35 years, coming within 0.85 moon distances as it whizzes by us later tonight. Fortunately, it poses no threat to hit earth or the moon and will be too small to see with the naked eye, but it should make you think that there are objects out there that can and will eventually hit us, so make the most of your time while you have it. An object the size of YU55 could cause some major damage if it were to impact the earth. It could destroy a city or cause a massive tsunami. If it hit the moon, it would be a spectacular light show, but nothing more. The asteroid is too small to have any real noticeable impact on out daily lives, it won't have any effect gravitationally, and won't affect the tides. The path is pretty well understood and it should pose no threat to earth in the future either, just something to get you excited about for a night and think about cosmic collisions and how we are completely at the mercy of the "heavens".

Cool shot taken by NASA JPL yesterday afternoon along with the current expected track...

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