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November 09, 2011

Asteroid Fly By on November 8

Just yesterday on November 8, asteroid 2005 YU55 flew by Earth. The asteroid is 1,300 feet in width (400 meters) and spherical in shape. NASA reports that the asteroid will have no gravitational influence on the Earth. NASA scientists have been tracking the asteroid from Deep Space Network at Goldstone, California. The asteroid's orbit went between the Earth and the Moon, and at its closest point it was 201,700 miles (324,600 kilometers) from Earth. That is about 0.85 the distance from the Moon to Earth. 2005 YU55 is currently in an orbit that comes close to the three furthest terrestrial planets (Venus, Earth and Mars). But November 8 was the closest the asteroid has been to coming in contact with a planet in the last 200 years. The last close encounter Earth had with an asteroid came in 1976 and the next projected close encounter will be in 2028. We can only wait and see how close the next asteroid will be to coming in contact with our planet.

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Posted by chazr at November 9, 2011 02:10 PM


I found it interesting that there didn't seem to be a lot of news reports on this asteroid fly by on websites such as CNN, WSJ, or NY Times before hand. I understand that there were reports, from NASA for example, that there would be no gravitational influence here on Earth, but this seems like a bigger deal which should have been reported on on a wider basis.

Posted by: sakline at November 9, 2011 11:19 PM

I can't even imagine what it would be like if an asteroid directly hit the Earth sometime in the future. The effects would be devastating - possibly as illustrated in our class video. I truly hope such an event doesn't occur, trying to fathom those thoughts is quite worrisome.

Posted by: mhymes at November 14, 2011 09:49 PM

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