Massive asteroid is rushing to Earth


07/05/2011

A massive asteroid will fly this year, within the orbit of the moon, nearly hitting the Earth. Cosmic body, called YU55, will fly at a distance of 324,604 miles away from us at the point of its closest approach, on November 8.

It’s closer to us than the moon, whose orbit is the average removed from us at a distance of 384,403 kilometers. YU55 - the largest object approached so close to Earth. Its width is about 400 meters, and weighs 55 million tons.

NASA spokesman, Don Eomans, said: "November 8 asteroid YU55 will be at the closest point on Earth - a distance of about 325,000 kilometers.

"Width of the asteroid is about 400 meters - it is the largest space object identified by us, which will come to us as close to 2028."

Despite such a close distance to the Earth, its gravitational effect on our planet would be ’negligible’.

Mr. Eomans added: "While in the nearest point from us, the gravitational effect on the Earth will be so small that it will not be measurable. It will not affect the tides or anything like that."

Despite this, it was given the official status of "potentially hazardous object" - in the event of an impact on the Earth, an explosion equivalent to 65,000 atomic bombs, and the size of the crater will be 10 kilometers wide and 600 meters deep.

YU55 was discovered by Robert McMillan, head of the Spacewatch Program at the University of Arizona in December 2005.

He makes a revolution around the sun every 14 years, but does not collide with the Earth has at least 100 years.

"YU55 poses no threat of collision with the Earth, at least for the next 100 years" - said the Eomans.

Scientists around the world have long been debating about how can you prevent the Land of potentially hazardous asteroids.

One of the most popular methods - to detonate a nuclear warhead on approaching asteroid to deflect it from its orbital path.

Last year, physicist David Dearborn of the Lawrence National Laboratory in Livermore, United States, suggested that nuclear weapons could be the best strategy to prevent an asteroid - especially in the case of large asteroids and little time to prepare.

Original: Dailymail


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