View Full Version : Huge Asteroid 2005 YU55 Approaches Earth

28th November 2011, 18:52
Wider than an aircraft carrier and darker than coal, asteroid 2005 YU55 is soaring at over 11 miles a second straight toward Earth and the moon on its latest path through the inner solar system.
NEWS: Huge Asteroid 2005 YU55 Approaches Earth (http://news.discovery.com/space/asteroid-2005-yu55-near-miss-111107.html)

The image above was acquired today by the 70-meter radio telescope at NASA's Deep Space Network in Goldstone, Calif., and shows the approaching space rock in unprecedented detail. And this is just the beginning!

Although it will ultimately come even closer to Earth than the moon, 2005 YU55 poses no threat of impact to either world. At 6:28 p.m. tomorrow, Nov. 8, the quarter-mile-wide YU55 will pass Earth at about 85 percent of the distance to the moon, coming no closer than 201,000 miles.

DNEWS VIDEO: DOOMSDAY ASTEROID (http://news.discovery.com/videos/space-doomsday-asteroid.html)

This is the closest such a large object will have come to our planet since 1976.

The C-type asteroid is composed of leftovers from the formation of the inner solar system, carbon materials, and so is very dark; it reflects less than 1 percent of the sunlight that hits it. But this won't stop NASA's radar telescopes in Goldstone and Arecibo, Puerto Rico, from tracking it and getting some great images as it passes!

2005 YU55 was about 860,000 miles, or 3.6 lunar distances, from Earth when the image above was shot at 2:45 p.m. EST.