Asteroid 2005 yu55 to pass close to Earth today

November 8th, 2011 - 11:10 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Washington, Nov 8 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Scientists say an asteroid will pass very closely by earth on Tuesday (8th of November 2011) but it is not expected to collide with the planet. The planetary object which is named asteroid 2005 yu55 is being monitored closely by space scientists.

The 400-meter mass is traveling at a speed of 29,000 mph. With that speed, scientists expect the asteroid to come closest to the planet at about 23:28 GMT (6:28 p.m. EST) on Tuesday. It will be mere 324,600 km from earth. That means that object is going to get closer than the moon which is about 384,499 km from earth.

Researchers say the object will not hit the planet although it will be the first time that an object that size has come that close to earth since 1976.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist Lance Benner assured that, “2005 YU55 cannot hit Earth, at least over the interval that we can compute the motion reliably, which extends for several hundred years.”

Scientists have been studying the rock since 2005 when it was discovered by University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory astronomer Robert McMillan. The object made the first flyby of earth April 2010 but this is the closest that it will be coming to the planet.

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