Friday, October 28, 2011
Asteroid to Pass close by Earth on November 8th
"NASA scientists will be tracking asteroid 2005 YU55 at Goldstone, Calif., as the space rock safely flies past Earth slightly closer than the moon's orbit on Nov. 8. Scientists are treating the flyby of the 1,300-foot-wide (400-meter) asteroid as a science target of opportunity - allowing instruments on "spacecraft Earth" to scan it during the close pass."
This is so amazing to me. The asteroid is projected to pass through the orbit of the moon. That may sound close, but rest assured that the asteroid is small enough that there will be no observable gravitational effects on the earth. NASA is planning to do a full array of tests so that they can get an accurate image of the asteroid surface. The next time there will be a flyby of this size wont be until 2028 . So, this isn't your average everyday occurrence.
This is a simulation of what will happen on the 8th.(image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)