This Asteroid Is Getting Way too Close to Earth

Illustration for article titled 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.


The arrival day: November 8. This is its trajectory.

[Check the animated GIF below]

Pretty damn close. In fact, The 1300-foot-wide (400-meter) asteroid called 2005 YU55 will get closer to our home planet than the Moon itself: 201,700 miles (324,600 kilometers). 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 volcanos to go off, tectonic plates to sink into melting magma or tides getting New York under the Atlantic ocean. It will just pass by as scientists 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]

Click image to enlarge.





I think the asteroid would say "hi" not "High" as a greeting.