NASA got a new image 400-meter asteroid 2005 YU55, which will fly on Wednesday night at a minimum distance from the Earth, the press service of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA.
Asteroid 2005 YU55 was first discovered December 24, 2005 by Robert McMillan (Robert McMillan) from the University of Arizona. On the night of November 9 (November 8 to 23.28 GMT, November 9 at 03.28 MSK) asteroid fly by at a distance of 0.00217 AU (about 325,000 kilometers) from Earth at a speed of 13.7 kilometers per second. This is 60 thousand kilometers less than the distance from the Earth to the Moon.
During the current "date" with the Earth, scientists are monitoring the asteroid with 70-meter antenna network Deep Space Network at Goldstone, and the 300-meter Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico.
New images of asteroid was obtained in Goldstone, when 2005 YU55 was at a distance of 1.38 million kilometers. The observations of this celestial body with the Arecibo starts Tuesday.
Previous radar observations, which were made with the Arecibo in 2010, showed that 2005 YU55 has a nearly spherical shape and rotates slowly, making one revolution in 18 hours. 2005 YU55 surface is very dark — it reflects light less coal.
Amateur astronomers will be able to make observations of the asteroid — a few hours after it reaches the convergence maximum brightness — 11 magnitude (which is about 100 times weaker than the very dim object, which is available for the naked eye). To see it, you will need a telescope with an aperture of 15 cm or more.
The most favorable conditions for observation are added in Western Europe and North America, says the magazine Sky & Telescope. Asteroid to pass within 10 hours in an arc of 70% of the constellation to constellation Pegasus Eagle, passing a distance equal to the apparent diameter of the moon in less than five minutes.
The orbit of asteroid 2005 YU55 is well known. The last time he came so close to Earth in 1976, but then astronomers have not found it. Although he often comes to Earth, and to Venus and Mars, the current rapprochement — the closest in 200 years.
Asteroids often pass by Earth at a distance less than the radius of the orbit of the moon, but usually it is the body of tens of meters. The appearance of an asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier at a distance — a rare event. Asteroid 2005 YU55 will be the largest space object, which reaches out to the planet by 2020.
Scientists emphasize that the "guest" will not have any significant gravitational impact on Earth would not work or the tides or the plate tectonics.
The next time a celestial body "look in the visitors" to earthlings April 8, 2015, but will be much further away — 0.283 AU (423.8 thousand kilometers) from Earth, well above the Moon's orbit. Then he comes back in November 2016, April 2020, October 2021 and September 2026, but never gets too close to the Earth.
Astronomers say that even if a celestial body the size of 2005 YU55 encounter with Earth, then this event will not be a global catastrophe and the "end of the world" will not.