Sunday, 21 January, 2018

Asteroid meets Earth-A space rock 2014 JO25

Theresa Hayes | 19 April, 2017, 00:38

To get an idea of how far - or close - 1.1 million miles is, that's about 4.6 times greater than the distance between the Earth and the moon. Although both celestial bodies will not collide with Earth, the asteroid is still frightening especially because of its size. Though the orbit of the asteroid is well-known by astronomers, they are yet to dig out more about its physical properties. Although smaller asteroids fly by the Earth nearly every day, the last time such a large celestial body came this close was in 2004, when the 5 km Toutatis flew by at four lunar distances. The encounter is the closest for this asteroid for at least the last 400 years.

A mile-wide asteroid is about to swing by the Earth in the closest shave we've had in over a decade. The next encounter of an asteroid of similar size will take place in 2027 when the half-mile-wide asteroid 1999 AN10 will fly by at about the same distance as the Moon, or almost 240,000 miles.

2014-J25 was discovered in May 2014 by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona.

Artist's rendering of the view from another asteroid, Toutatis, as it approached Earth in 1996.

"While not causing an extinction level event, an impact from an asteroid the size of "The Rock" would have a calamitous effect at the local and even regional level".

The asteroid known as Bennu is being tracked, though it is not large enough to cause a dinosaur-style apocalypse, according to experts.

The April 19 encounter offers an excellent chance to study this asteroid, and scientists plan to use telescopes around the planet to learn as much as possible.

On April 19, a relatively large near-Earth asteroid will fly past safely.

2014 JO25's size combined with its reflective surface will likely make it visible to stargazers who possess small optical telescopes. The Pan-STARRS NEO survey team had discovered the comet with the help of a telescope on the summit of Haleakala, Hawaii in 2015.