11/8/11

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS


Asteroids. Near Misses...

This is very exciting and a little freaky too. 

How close is too close? Here is what NASA scientists have to say about the Asteroid 2005 YU55 that will fly very close to Earth -- slightly closer than our moon's orbit. And it all happens today November 8th.


From NASA: Scientists will be tracking asteroid 2005 YU55 with antennas of the agency's Deep Space Network at Goldstone, Calif., as the space rock safely flies past Earth slightly closer than the moon's orbit on Nov. 8. Scientists are treating the flyby of the 1,300-foot-wide (400-meter) asteroid as a science target of opportunity allowing instruments on "spacecraft Earth" to scan it during the close pass.

Arecibo radar observations of asteroid 2005 YU55 made in 2010 show it to be approximately spherical in shape. It is slowly spinning, with a rotation period of about 18 hours. The asteroid's surface is darker than charcoal at optical wavelengths.

NASA detects, tracks and characterizes asteroids and comets passing close to Earth using both ground- and space-based telescopes. The Near-Earth Object Observations Program, commonly called "Spaceguard," discovers these objects, characterizes a subset of them, and plots their orbits to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to our planet.

If you'd like more information about asteroids and near-Earth objects go Here
If you're interested in the Deep Space Network go Here

So, how close do you feel is too close?

Kaye

8 comments:

Kat said...

Personally, as long as it doesn't hit I'm happy.:-) And it being so close meant a great view.

Kaye Manro said...

So it is said. Would love to see it. I guess I cringe thinking about the one that may hit, lol.

Charlie said...

How close is too close? That depends on the size of the object. If it is small no problem, if it is big then I'd rather it stayed on the other side of Mars. Ha!

Shelley Munro said...

This story made our news too. As long as it doesn't hit, it's interesting :)

Kaye Manro said...

Charlie -- I agree, yet even a small asteroid could cause major damage. But as long as Earth doesn't take the hit we'll be fine.

Shelley -- It does make you think though, could another asteroid hit us. Hope not, but someday it most likely will. Not in our lifetime we hope.

Heather Massey said...

Just hearing about it gives me the spooks.

Kaye Manro said...

It spooks me for sure, Heather.

Suzanne Jones said...

That was a bit too close for my liking.

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