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Dodging The Cosmic Bullet: Asteroid To Fly Close To Earth

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CORRECTION: In trying to give a perspective of how big the asteroid actually is, I forgot to convert miles into feet and incorrectly stated that the diameter of the Asteroid was 1/4 the size of Mercury. In an effort not to freak out the entire Ecorazzi reader population, I present to you a more accurate comparison: The Asteroid is nearly a quarter mile in diameter. 1/4 the size of Mercury would be 750 miles. Thank you reader Jeff Cantwell for pointing out my poor mathematical skills. This is why I stick to words. And to the Asteroid, it’s not the size that matters. It’s the motion of the ocean after you’ve made impact.

***

Even though we have a black president, it’s not a scene out of Deep Impact… just yet.

But mark your calendars for November 8th, because that’s when the huge asteroid will be coming by to give us a show.

The object, dubbed Asteroid 2005 YU55 was discovered at the University of Arizona by Spacewatch on 12/28/2005. It is 1,300 feet in diameter (a little over 1/4 the size of Mercury), and is said to come within .85 lunar distances of us (1 lunar distance is from the earth to the moon).

Best way to see this event? Late in the day, possibly even closer to the next morning (of November 9th). On the event, research scientist Lance Benner says: “This flyby will be the closest by any near-Earth asteroid with an absolute magnitude this bright since 1976 and until 2028.”

And don’t freak out, doomsday enthusiasts, this “potentially hazardous asteroid” is only deemed so due to its size and proximity to the Earth— there’s said to be no chance of it actually hitting our planet— at least, not in any of our lifetimes!

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