Asteroid 2014 JO25, a massive asteroid, is all set to pass through the planet earth. The huge asteroid, larger than half a mile across will fly by earth later today from very close quarters.
According to US space agency NASA, the size of the Ateroid 2014 JO25 stretches 650 metres (2,000 feet) across will fly by five times the distance of earth from moon. NASA says that the earth doesn’t face any threat from this huge asteroid as it is passing from a very safe distance.
While talking about the flyby of the Asteroid 2014 JO25, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a statement said, “Although there is no possibility for the asteroid to collide with our planet, this will be a very close approach for an asteroid this size”.
While to many, it is a safe distance, NASA obviously knows threat from such bodies. Dubbed 2014-JO25, the asteroid will come within 1.8 million kilometres (1.1 million miles) of Earth, less than five times the distance to the Moon. It will pass closest to our planet after having looped around the Sun. 2014-JO25 will then continue on past Jupiter before heading back toward the centre of our Solar System.
A NASA report says, “The asteroid will approach Earth from the direction of the sun and will become visible in the night sky after April 19. It is predicted to brighten to about magnitude 11, when it could be visible in small optical telescopes for one or two nights before it fades as the distance from Earth rapidly increases”.
The report goes on to add, “Small asteroids pass within this distance of Earth several times each week, but this upcoming close approach is the closest by any known asteroid of this size, or larger, since asteroid Toutatis, a 3.1-mile (five-kilometer) asteroid, which approached 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 (800-meter-wide) asteroid 1999 AN10 will fly by at one lunar distance, about 236,000 miles (380,000 kilometers)…The April 19 encounter provides an outstanding opportunity to study this asteroid, and astronomers plan to observe it with telescopes around the world to learn as much about it as possible”.