NASA Astronomers Confirm Massive Asteroid Hurtling Towards Earth
NASA Astronomers have confirmed that a massive 1km-wide asteroid is now hurtling towards earth with “potentially hazardous” consequences.
The space rock will hopefully pass by the planet safely as long as it doesn't change its course.
NASA reports that the asteroid will pass on April 19th and will be the closest Earth has come to a flying space rock in 400 years.
The next close fly by is not expected for another 480 years.
NASA explained: "The next known flyby by an object with a comparable or larger diameter will occur when 800-meter-diameter asteroid ‘1999 AN10’ approaches within one lunar distance in August 2027,"
An asteroid of this size won't have as close an encounter with Earth for more than 10 years.
"The next known flyby by an object with a comparable or larger diameter will occur when 800-meter-diameter asteroid ‘1999 AN10’ approaches within one lunar distance in August 2027," NASA said.
The asteroid was discovered by the Mt. Lemmon Survey in May 2014.
Astronomers describe it as a “bright object” and believe it will be among the best targets for radar observations this year.‘2014 JO25’ has been designated as a potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA) by the Minor Planet Center.
PHA’s are asteroids larger than 100 meters that can come closer to Earth than 7,495,839km (about 4,658,000 miles), which is equal to 19.5 ‘Lunar distances’.
Despite 2014 JO25’s designation as a PHA, projections predict it will pass by Earth at a safe distance of about 1.8 million km (4.57 lunar distances).
Two other big asteroids, ‘2003 BD44’ and ‘1999 CU3’, which are both nearly 2km wide, will also pass by our planet shortly, however they won’t come as close as 2014.
Astrowatch report 1,781 PHAs were detected on Sunday, however – happily – none of them is on a projected collision course with Earth.