Large Asteroid Will Come Too Close To Earth On April 19

Posted: Apr 10 2017, 12:51am CDT | by , Updated: Apr 10 2017, 1:00am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
Large Asteroid will come too close to Earth on April 19
This computer-generated image depicts the flyby of asteroid 2014 JO25. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The asteroid will fly safely past the Earth during close encounter this month

A large asteroid is hurting towards Earth. The giant space rock will come too close to Earth during this month but will not cause any trouble and safely fly pass our planet. At the closest point, the asteroid will be at distance of 1.1 million miles or about 4.6 times closer than the moon.

The asteroid, known as 2014 JO25, was first detected three years ago by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson. The project is designed to track near-Earth objects.

The asteroid in question is roughly 2,000 feet in size and its surface is more reflective than that of moon. Currently, astronomers know very little about its physical properties despite being well aware of its trajectory.

The asteroid will be visible on the night of April 19 and look brighter than usual before it zooms pass the Earth.

Many small asteroids make a closer approach towards the Earth every year but most of them went undetected. However, asteroid 2014 JO25 is difficult to escape due to its large size. The upcoming encounter will be the closest approach from an asteroid of this size. Observations suggest that an asteroid of comparable size will not approach closer to our planet until 2027 when 800-meter-wide asteroid designated 1999 AN10 will fly past the Earth at a altitude of one lunar distance, about 236,000 miles.

The April 19 encounter will provide a remarkable opportunity to get up close to the asteroid and to better understand its shape and other relevant features.

“Radar observations are planned at NASA's Goldstone Solar System Radar in California and the National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and the resulting radar images could reveal surface details as small as a few meters.” NASA statement reads.

The powerful radar technique has been used to study asteroids many of times before. Radar images can reveal more details about their sizes, shapes, rotation, surface features, roughness and their orbital path. More precise determination of their orbital path will allow researchers to determine any possibility for the asteroid to collide with Earth and to protect our planet from them.

The next time that asteroid 2014 JO25 will make its closest approach to the Earth is at least in next 500 years.

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