Giant Peanut-Shaped Asteroid to Pass Harmlessly by Earth Wednesday

A huge, shiny, peanut-shaped asteroid will safely pitch by Earth tomorrow morning (April 19), entrance within a stretch of 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers) of a universe — about 4.6 times a stretch from Earth to a moon.


The splendid asteroid 2014 JO25  is entrance toward Earth from a sun’s instruction and should be manifest in a sky in tiny telescopes for a few days following as it fades from view. It will be during a closest indicate to Earth during 8:24 a.m. EDT (1224 GMT). You can see a video animation of a asteroid’s circuit here.

Asteroid 2014 JO25 was initial speckled in May 2014 by astronomers during a Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona, and measurements from NASA’s NEOWISE goal suggested it was about 2,000 feet (650 meters) across, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Radar observations from a Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico advise it could be as vast as 4,270 feet (1.3 km) during a widest point.

The asteroid’s aspect reflects about twice as most light as a moon. Its proceed outlines a closest an intent this vast has come to Earth given a gigantic asteroid 4179 Toutatis tumbled by in 2004, within 4 times a stretch from a Earth to a moon.

The Aricebo Observatory held this radio picture of a asteroid 2014 JO25 on Apr 17, 2017, as a large, peanut-shaped asteroid neared a closet proceed to Earth.
Credit: Aricebo Observatory/NASA/NSF

Wednesday’s proceed is a closest 2014 JO25 has come in during slightest 400 years, and there’s no famous tighten proceed entrance through at slightest a year 2500. Although a asteroid’s proceed poses no risk to Earth — with a 0 percent impact luck — a International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center still classified it as “potentially hazardous” because of a stretch and nearness to Earth. Researchers will have to keep an eye on it to see if it drifts closer over a centuries, a Minor Planet Center wrote.

Astronomers around a universe will investigate asteroid 2014 JO25 during and after a approach, including skywatchers during Arecibo and NASA’s Goldstone Solar System Radar in California, JPL officials pronounced in a matter — creation observations that can potentially exhibit facilities only a few meters across.

“Using radar, we can irradiate a near-Earth asteroid and directly magnitude a features,”astronomer Edgard Rivera-Valentín, a heavenly scientist with a Universities Space Research Association (USRA) during a Arecibo Observatory, said in a apart statement. That’s how scientists pinned down a asteroid’s peanut shape, he added.

The next tighten proceed of a famous hulk asteroid will occur in 2027, when a half-mile-wide (800 m) asteroid 1999 AN10 passes by during about a stretch from a Earth to a moon.

 The asteroid 2014 JO25 will fly safely past Earth Apr 19, entrance within 1.1 million miles (1.8 million km) of a universe  about 4.6 times a stretch between a Earth and a moon. This map shows a asteroid's locations as it passes by a sky Apr 19 to Apr 22  it will seem splendid in a sky for tiny telescopes for a few days after closest approach. Its position will change from plcae to location; we can calculate a position on a href= http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons.cgi?find_body=1body_group=sbsstr=2014%20JO25this NASA site/a.
Credit: Gianluca Masi (Virtual Telescope Project)/TheSkySixPro

You can watch asteroid 2014 JO25’s tour live on a Slooh online observatory’s website starting during 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT) Apr 19. You can also find it out in a sky regulating a astronomical map above and a tiny telescope (although a position will vary, depending on your location).

While you’re looking, keep an eye out for a comet PanSTARRS (C/2015 ER61), that will be manifest in a emergence sky to observers with binoculars or a tiny telescope as it creates a closest proceed of 109 million miles (175 million km).

Editor’s note: If we constraint a print of asteroid 2014 JO25 by a telescope and would like to share it with Space.com, greatfully send images and comments in to: spacephotos@space.com.

Correction: A prior chronicle of this essay wrongly settled that a Aricebo Observatory is in Chile; it is Puerto Rico.

Email Sarah Lewin during slewin@space.com or follow her @SarahExplains. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original essay on Space.com


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