A Gigantic Asteroid Is About To Zoom Frighteningly Close To Earth

Asteroid As Big As Gibraltar Rock To Hurtle Past Earth On April 19

It was discovered in May 2014 by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona.

In regards to this relatively close encounter with 2014 JO25 NASA stated the following: "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". Skywatchers will be able to observe it with a small telescope, visible in the night sky for two evening before slowly fading into the distance after one or two nights.

It'll be the closest approach to Earth by a massive asteroid since 2004.

Yet, despite some feeble initiatives to track and monitor the asteroids, NASA had admitted that some ten percent of the incoming asteroids, i.e., over 10,000, are still not covered by their system, which requires a great deal more funding and human resources, such as increased number of observation points around the world.

This "potential" to make close Earth approaches does not mean a PHA will impact the Earth. As for the next large asteroid near Earth pass, that's expected to happen in 2027 when asteroid 1999 AN10 passes at a distance of 236,000 miles.

Starting at 7 p.m. EDT on April 19, online astronomy service Slooh will host a live show after 2014 JO25 zooms by the Earth, Gizmodo reported. During this particular flyby, the closest the asteroid gets to Earth is over 4.5 times farther away than the Moon, and the scientists at NASA's Goldstone Radio Observatory note that this is the closest the asteroid has ever come in the past 400 years, and it is the closest it will come to us until at least the year 2500. Because of its size and proximity, it will be bright enough to spot in a small, backyard telescope and moving fast enough to see in real time. However, it can be gazed upon during the night through the use of a telescope since it reflects light.

Not only is it big, but it is shiny too, with a surface that's about twice as reflective as the surface of the moon.

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