Big space rock to shoot past Earth tomorrow

Imaging Camera image of earth

Imaging Camera image of earth

The bright asteroid 2014 JO25 is coming toward Earth from the sun's direction and should be visible in the sky in small telescopes for a few days afterward as it fades from view. Recent measurements by NASA's NEOWISE mission revealed the asteroid is about 2,000 feet across and has an exterior approximately twice as reflective as the Moon's surface.

Smaller asteroids pass within this distance from Earth several times a week, NASA says.

It's the first known asteroid in 13 years to pass this close to Earth and the next known one will be in 2027.

The Aricebo Observatory caught this radio image of the asteroid 2014 JO25 on April 17, 2017, as the large, peanut-shaped asteroid neared its closet approach to Earth. We'll be safe here on the ground, but it is also a pretty close shave - scientists call it "among the strongest asteroid radar targets of the year".

So far we know that 2014 JO25 is very fat-about 2000 feet in diameter-and very shiny, nearly twice as reflective as our silvery Moon. You might be in luck - if a "potentially hazardous" asteroid strikes the Earth during its flyby, expected on Wednesday afternoon.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said a giant asteroid, 2014 JO25, which was discovered around three years ago, will be passing by Earth on April 19. The last known closest approach is that of asteroid Toutatis.

According to NASA, "Astronomers plan to observe it with telescopes around the world to learn as much about it as possible". Scientists have estimated that it will be moving at about 33 metres per second and that it will come within 1.8 million kilometres of our the planet (that's five time the distance between the Earth and the Moon).

On April 19, a relatively large near-Earth asteroid will fly past safely. The Pan-STARRS NEO survey team had discovered the comet with the help of a telescope on the summit of Haleakala, Hawaii in 2015.

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