The asteroid, named 2005 YU55, will be 300 thousand kilometers from Earth, closer than the distance to the moon, before continuing their way into space. Coal-colored asteroid, measuring about 400 meters in width, will become the most a passing space rock for the last 30 years. "Potentially, it's harmless asteroid, which gives us a good opportunity to study it," — says astronomer Thomas Statler (Thomas Statler) from the National Science Foundation. NASA and NSF is planning to hold a series of studies, beginning Friday, in order to conduct reconnaissance of the surface and study its chemical composition.
"Radar data should be quite accurate," — said Statler. "In space, many asteroids, because the more we know about them, the better" — said astronomer Phil Plate (Phil Plait) from the blog BadAstronomer Magazine Discover Magazine. "This just flies by, but we learn a lot of things."
In July, NASA's Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around Vesta asteroyda, a width of 500 kilometers, in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. "Now is a great time to be a scientist to asteroids," — said Plate.Next asteroid similar to the size of 2005 YU55 will fly close to Earth until 2028. According to NASA, fly close to Earth around the Sun 1262 "possibly dangerous" asteroids, whose diameter is more than 150 meters. Asteroid 2005 YU55 (the name indicates that it was discovered in December 2005) is one of these, but it should not hit the ground, at least not in this century. Based on the information about where he was to cross the path of Earth, flying in their extended orbit in 446 days, the asteroid will be closer to the Earth, at a distance of 267,000 kilometers, only in 2094.
"We want to study these asteroids so if some theoretically face the world once we knew what we can do about it," — said Statler.An asteroid the size of 2005 YU55 when immersed in the ocean can trigger an earthquake seven on the Richter scale and the tsunami, a height of 20 meters at a distance of 100 kilometers from the point of impact, says Jay Melosh (Jay Melosh) from Purdue University, Indiana.
Such collisions occur every 100,000 years.Asteroid 2005 YU55 is a representative of a frequent but little-studied class "C", is extremely porous objects, colors coal, said Don Yeomans, NASA asteroid expert.
("USA Today", USA)