Giant asteroid to pass between earth, moon

November 8th, 2011 - 1:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Nov 8 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A 400-metre-wide asteroid will Tuesday fly past earth, closer to it than the moon’s orbit.

The asteroid will pose no threat to Earth, NASA says. It will not be visible without a telescope.

NASA scientists have been tracking the asteroid, named 2005 YU55, since Friday.

“The asteroid 2005 YU55 cannot hit Earth, at least over the interval that we can compute the motion reliably - which extends for several hundred years,” said Lance Benner, the asteroid’s principal researcher at NASA.

The aircraft carrier-sized asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth at 23:28 GMT, at a distance of 325,000 km. It is the closest this space rock has come in 200 years.

NASA’s Goldstone Observatory in California and the Arecibo Planetary Radar facility in Puerto Rico will scan the asteroid during the close pass in a bid to identify its path and substance, and where it may go in the future.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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