Tags: NASA | asteroid | Earth

NASA: Large Asteroid Makes 'Very Close Approach' April 19

Image: NASA: Large Asteroid Makes 'Very Close Approach' April 19
(AP Photo/NASA)

By    |   Tuesday, 18 Apr 2017 05:51 PM

A 2,000-foot-long asteroid named "2014 JO25" will shoot past Earth on Wednesday from about 1.1 million miles away in what's considered "a very close approach," according to NASA.

"The encounter April 19 is the closest this asteroid has come to Earth for at least the last 400 years and will be its closest approach for at least the next 500 years," NASA added. "Although there is no possibility for the asteroid to collide with our planet, this will be a very close approach for an asteroid of this size."

The asteroid is so massive, astronomy website Slooh nicknamed it after muscle-bound movie star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

According to EarthSky.org, the spacey near-miss should be visible with amateur telescopes, beginning in the early morning hours Wednesday and then again that night.

The asteroid was discovered in May 2014 by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Ariz., NASA noted.

According to NASA, small asteroids pass within this distance of Earth several times each week, but Wednesday's flyby "is the closest by any known asteroid of this size, or larger" since Toutatis, a 3.1-mile asteroid, came within about four lunar distances in September 2004.

The next known encounter of an asteroid of comparable size will occur in 2027 when the half-mile-wide 1999 AN10 that will zip past Earth at one lunar distance – or about 236,000 miles, NASA reported.

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A 2,000-foot-long asteroid named "2014 JO25" will shoot past Earth on Wednesday from about 1.1 million miles away in what's considered "a very close approach," according to NASA.
NASA, asteroid, Earth
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2017-51-18
Tuesday, 18 Apr 2017 05:51 PM
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