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Earth Moon NASA Space Science

Large Near-Earth Astroid Will Fly Past Earth On April 19 (phys.org) 44

William Robinson quotes a report from Phys.Org: A relatively large (650 meters) near-Earth asteroid discovered nearly three years ago will fly safely past Earth on April 19 at a distance of about 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers), or about 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the moon. 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. For comparison, Chelyabinsk meteor was 20m. 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 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.
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Large Near-Earth Astroid Will Fly Past Earth On April 19

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  • 1.8M km is bit over 16 hours for Earth, given its orbit speed around Sun. Does anybody know how far it would go from Earth assuming we would be in worst place of our orbit or is it actually crossing our orbital plane and timing was all that helped here?

  • Awww.. (Score:1, Funny)

    by Maavin ( 598439 )
    Another flyby...Another missed chance for a cleansing fire...
  • It seem the existence of asteroids like this indicates that Earth hasn't cleared its orbit and is not a planet.

  • Our civilization only appears to be strong however I think protecting ourselves from threats from these objects is an area where we need to make a lot of improvement. I have a number of these near earth passbys in my memory of the last few years.

    If they are increasing then we should be paying closer attention to planning to deflect them. If we are just getting better at spotting them then it just means we haven't been paying attention to the threat and it shows us we should have been figuring out how to do

    • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

      dead international agreement

      excuse me, posting tired. I meant brain dead easy to achieve an international agreement

  • Sure would be cool if we could land something on it and slow it down and maybe move it to a high orbit so we could play with it for a while.
  • When someone writes "near Earth", I imagine really close. Am I the only one ?
    1.8 millions kilometers still feels pretty far away, even at that scale.

    • by abies ( 607076 )

      If I understand it correctly, it missed us by 16 hours. Or, 140 Earth diameters. It doesn't sound THAT far in those terms.

  • by fnj ( 64210 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2017 @11:41AM (#54213767)

    Mother of god, let's have some elementary proofreading of headlines.

If God is perfect, why did He create discontinuous functions?

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