Giant Asteroid Zooms Relatively Close To Earth

Large asteroid to hurtle past Earth on April 19

Large asteroid to hurtle past Earth on April 19

The asteroid will safely fly past Earth on April 19 at a distance of about 1.1 million miles, or about 4.6 times the distance between Earth and the moon. The close flyby is due to take place at 8:24AM ET or 1:24PM BST on Wednesday.

We are safe from The Rock but it will come very close to our planet for an asteroid of its size.

The 2014 JO25 asteroid is thought to be at least the size of the Rock of Gibraltar - some 2,000 feet long - and was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona.

While amateur astronomers will be interested to see the object, NASA and other astronomical organisation will be eager to study 2014 JO25 seeing as very little is known about its physical properties.

In 2027, the half-mile wide asterois 1999 AN10 will pass within one lunar distance, about 236,000 miles, according to NASA.

2014 JO25's size combined with its reflective surface will likely make it visible to stargazers who possess small optical telescopes. The brightness of this asteroid will be maximum on April 19, after which it will fade quickly.

At around 1.8 million kilometres away, the asteroid has been classed as a near Earth object (NEO) and is nearly five times the distance between our planet and the moon.

It will pass closest to our planet after having looped around the Sun. The asteroid hasn't come this nearby for in any event the most recent 400 years and won't come this close again for in any event for the following 500 years.

The last time an asteroid as big as this one passed by Earth was in 2004 with four lunar distances.

The comet has brightened recently and should be visible in the dawn sky with binoculars or a small telescope.

Two other big asteroids, "2003 BD44" and "1999 CU3", which are both almost 2km wide, will also pass by our planet shortly, however they won't come as close as 2014.

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