Invisible asteroid approaching Earth

On Wednesday night a large asteroid will approach Earth at a distance that is less than that of our planet and the moon, which will allow scientists to study carefully the celestial body without launching a space probe to it.

The agency "Reuters", the asteroid 2005 YU55, which is November 9 at 03:28 MSK fly at about 324.6 thousand km. from the Earth, is a very dark, dense, spherical object with a diameter of about 400 meters.

Since asteroid YU55 looked in 2010 with the observatory Arechibo when its distance from the Earth is about 2.4 million kilometers. Photo: Arecibo Observatory / Michael Nolan

"For the first time since 1976, the object of this size would be at such a close distance from the Earth. This will give us a great and rare opportunity to study near-Earth object of this kind," — says astrophysicist Scott Fisher of the National Science Foundation (NSF) U.S..

Scientists believe that the planet does not threaten the asteroid, because its size and trajectory of the well-known, said a senior researcher of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA in Pasadena (California, USA) Don Yeomans. "There is no probability of collision of the object with the Earth or the Moon," — he said, quoted by the agency.

To the asteroid "within reach"

85 percent of the distance between our planet and the moon — this is the distance between the Earth and the asteroid — may seem small value compared to, for example, the distance from Pluto to the Sun, but is actually 324.6 thousand kilometers — a lot. Asteroids can approach the Earth and closer to the end of the world but it does not.

For the record, it is expected that in 2029 the asteroid Apophis will reach an altitude geosynchronous orbit, which is almost 20 times closer than the current distance between the Earth and the asteroid YU55. Discovered in 1934, and then "lost" by astronomers until 1989, the asteroid Tautatis can approach Earth at a distance of 0.003 astronomical units (1 AU — the distance from the Earth to the Moon), the most recent convergence of 0.05 AU . took place on 9 November 2008, but the impact was not. Earlier this year, at geosynchronous orbit flying asteroid 2011 MN, and the collision happened, too, and in 1976, 2010 XC15 approached the Earth at 0.5 AU and avoid collision.

In the northern hemisphere, thousands of amateur and professional astronomers will be watching the asteroid YU 55. Best area for observation — the east coast of North America. However, to the naked eye object is too dim, as his face black as coal, and for observations from space telescope "Hubble" it will move too quickly. Clarify the chemical composition of the asteroid will help scientists monitor using tools located on the Earth. "We can consider the surface of the asteroid, up until about 4.5 meters," said Fisher.

The first images of the asteroid YU 55 were obtained in 2005 with the ESO Observatory Stewart (University of Arizona, USA).

According to NASA expert Professor Don Yemans, November 8, asteroid passes us, though only 325 fly thousands of miles from Earth. That is between us and the moon.

The last time such a large celestial body threatened the Earth 35 years ago. But he missed. Missed everything, including NASA.

But now the agency reassurance that we need not worry much until 2028 — before this time is expected to dangerous encounters with any as large blocks.

2005 YU55 was discovered Dec. 28, 2005, photographed on April 19 last year, using a telescope in Puerto Rico (Arecibo Radar Telescope in Puerto Rico). Block — almost round, like a giant egg.

Yemans some reason said that flying asteroid will not create measurable gravitational perturbations on Earth. Apparently, the professor fears recalled the March of this year, when people were afraid of any adverse effects of so-called Super Moon — our natural satellite, approaching the Earth at a minimum distance of a full moon. As it turned out, feared for good reason — as a result, scientists have recognized that a catastrophic earthquake in Japan may well have been triggered by the growing attraction of the moon — more power to influence the tectonic processes in the subsurface. So: this filth from the asteroid 2005 YU55 as if not expected.

Although … And in March — before the Japanese earthquake — scientists together soothed, they say, "Super-Moon" is no danger. Is that the sky will look beautiful. But the unexpected happened.

The earthquake in Japan did not come for March 11 — 8 days prior to convergence with the night star. So, by analogy: its gravity asteroid had to start somewhere with mischief on October 31.

But nothing much has not happened. Is that some earthquakes of medium strength but the flooding in Italy. May blow over and beyond. Although, of course, you should wait for November 8, when it becomes clear that the asteroid passed the Earth.

NASA is frightening: if 2005 YU55 hit the Earth, the power of the explosion would have been 4000 megatons — 200,000 Hiroshimas. The planet would go through the shock wave, as the earthquake of 7 points. There would be a tsunami of 25 meters. The naked eye does not see the asteroid, but you will be in an amateur telescope. Professional astronomers promise November 11 — 12 more blocks to clear image resolution of 7 meters.

By the way, May 5, swept past us just two giant asteroid — one diameter of 1.2 km, and the other — 2.5 km. True, they had passed the Earth at a great distance — about 70 distance from Earth to the Moon.

Source:"Rossiyskaya Gazeta" —

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