This Asteroid Is Getting Way Too Close To Earth

This pixelated grayscale image was taken by the Arecibo Planetary Radar Facility in Puerto Rico on April 2010. It shows an asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier on direct interception course with Earth's orbit.

Pretty damn close. In fact, The 400m wide asteroid called 2005 YU55 will get closer to our home planet than the Moon itself: 324,600km. That's 0.85 the distance from our silver satellite. So no, it will not kill us. But it will get close enough to get uncomfortable.

According to NASA, the "trajectory of asteroid 2005 YU55 is well understood", so there's no dangers whatsoever. Its gravitational influence will not affect anything in our planet, so don't expect volcanoes to go off, tectonic plates to sink into magma or tides getting New York under the Atlantic ocean. It will just pass by as scientist observe it using the Goldstone and Arecibo antennas, so expect some asteroid porn in the coming days.

It's just a friendly, slowly spinning spherical asteroid darker than charcoal saying high... I WILL GET YOU THE NEXT TIME! (in 2028). [NASA]

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      I know you are mate!

    A little bird tells me that Channel 7's Sunday Night programme is doing a story on this asteroid and Apophis this week.

    Hey Giz,

    Good post. Short but answered most my questions even with a cool graphic.

    The only question outstanding question is when? I know it returns in 2028 but is it passing soon?


    I'm assuming satellites are much closer to the Earth than this?

      no, not all of them, many lie beyond the moons orgit in the lagrange points, have a look at the wiki for them.

        Really? Cool! Are we talking communications ones as well, or are you talking research/observation/probe kinda things?

        It's cool to imagine that we have things 'stationed' around the solar system. Like, I know there's one close to the Sun apparently.

        Nice to see a fellow space nerd that knows what a lagrange point actually is! There is an issue there though, the lagrange point is an amorphous area that is not exactly stable where satellites are concerned and it's getting rather cluttered in that region!

      Yeah, but when 99943 Apophis passes us in 2029, it will pass within the geosynchronous orbit (about 46,000km) where a large number of our communications and GPS satellites orbit. It weighs around 300,000 tonnes, so that is a pretty close shave, I reckon. YU 55 is due to fly by next week some time.

        There's a chance that it will pass through a keyhole, and if it does it will swing around next time and actually hit the Earth! Let's hope not!

    I would be more concerned about our gravitational influence on it...

      Gravitational influence is a two way affair. Gravity between two bodies is proportional to the product of their combined masses, and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
      So gravity is a single force between two bodies. You can't have an object being attracted to something without an equal attraction in the opposite direction.

    Damn lucky it didn't hit the moon..

    This is so cool. God I love this universe, such a shame we can't yet explore past the solar system... can someone freeze me and wake me up in 2364?

      No probs, I'll sharpen up the axe and meet you out front! ;}

    The asteroid should be passing Earth on November 9th @ 10:28am (Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time). I suspect we won't be able to see much in our part of the world though :(

      awwwww, i wanted to see the giant deathball :(

    Yes, according to the data supplied , yu 2005 will pass by without collision, but, if NASA is going to supply a graphic sequence of its path, they should at least get the moons phase/ position right. We are due for a full moon on the 10th of December or thereabouts, so the asteroid will pass between the Earth and the Moon. In NASA's sequence, the moon is shown at 90 degrees to the Earth in relation to the sun therefore a 1/2 Moon phase. C'mon get it a bit closer to reality guys.
    Check out Graham Hancocks "Fingerprints of the Gods" BBC attempted to debunck his work but instead had to apologise, 1st time ever for BBC

    Will it hit the moon, and if so, how will this effect werewolves?

      A funny comment that stands out among funny comments. Well done.

    Is it worse than hitler as well for not having a Facebook page?

    dudes it won't hurt, or as one "friend said it might grow bigger as it gets closer.

    we will all have to pray it does not hit us but if it hit the moon the moon could break up and head for earth the asteroid could hit our satelites or the internatonal space station the asteroid can continue into going past venus and mercury but if it hit venus it may be the only spark to kick start life like the earth did during the big bang it could hit the sun sending a solar flare thu space that could damage the earth ozone layer if we to leave earth we should do so before the asteroid passers the sun australia should be involved in getting people off the earth before the asteroid gets to the sun

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