2005 YU55 Arrives Today! Get Out The Tin Foil Helmets!

November 8, 2011 at 7:51 am | Posted in Miscellaneous, Regular Feature, Science News | Leave a comment
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It’s here, dear readers. The day I first told you about some seven months ago in an article entitled Giant Honkin’ Space Boulder To Just Miss Earth In November. Yes, today is the day that asteroid 2005 YU55 will skip inside the moon’s orbit and pass between the Earth and the moon. Asteroid 2005 YU55 is expected to miss both the planet and the moon, but out of mere happenstance. It could easily have impacted either but for the slightest of degree of change in trajectory at any point in its orbit around the sun.  Please enjoy the short video courtesy of Space.com.

So both the Arecibo radio telescope and the Goldstone scope in California will be bombarding this errant missile with radio waves to get us the clearest pictures, and most useful data to date on this particular asteroid, and asteroids in general.

This image of Comet Tempel 1 was taken by NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft on July 4, 2005, 67 seconds after a probe crashed into the comet. CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD

After landing on the asteroid Vespa and the comet Tempel 1, our scientist have a pretty good understanding of the composition and behaviors of these leftovers from the dawn of our solar system. Asteroid 2005YU55 will not hit us but you have to admit, in spacial terms it is a pretty close shave.

So get out those tin foil helmets everyone. Who knows… it wouldn’t be the first time someone did the math wrong. At the very least, call your Mom just to be on the safe side. No?

by Revmacd For Roqoo Depot – Where Science Meets Science Fiction

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