In the far future asteroid 2005 YU55 could potentially threaten Earth and when November 8 rolls around this year fans of astronomy can catch a glimpse of the asteroid as it passes within 201,700 miles of Earth at 6:28 p.m EDT. Putting that closeness into perspective the moon is 240,000 miles from earth.
Because of the asteroids proximity and size it was classified several years ago as a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid” and in celebration of its arrival researchers will study the large object using visual, infrared and radar technologies.
While 2005 YU55 will be the closest object of its size to pass by earth in a long time the smaller asteroid 2011 CQ1 actually come far closer when it reached within 3,400 miles of our planet.
According to researchers the November 8 sighting will be the largest flyby asteroid since 1976 with the next big rock sighting is not scheduled until 2028.
Speaking to Space.com Lindley Johnson, NASA’s NEO Observations program executive (NEO stands for Near-Earth Objects) says objects this large only pass by earth about once every 25 years while noting:
“But this is the first time we’ve known about one this size in advance, due to the work of our NEO program over the last 12 years. Object 2005 YU55 was found in December 2005, so we’ve had almost six years of advance notice.”
Will you be pointing your telescope at the night sky on November 8 in the hopes of catching a glimpse at Asteroid 2005 YU55?