Large asteroid to pass close to Earth on Wednesday

Large asteroid to pass close to Earth on Wednesday

According to The Independent, an asteroid one mile wide hitting our planet would unleash an energy similar to around 1,000 atom bombs - the kind that was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

The asteroid was discovered in May of 2014 by scientists at the Catalina Sky Survey by Tuscon, Arizona.

This would be asteroid 2014 JO25's closest approach to Earth made so far in last four centuries and will remain the nearest one for around next five centuries. The space rock will be so close that it will be bright and easily viewed in a night's sky for 1-2 days using a telescope.

NASA has released radar images of the peanut-shaped asteroid which were obtained in the early hours of Tuesday morning by its 70-meter (230-foot) antenna at the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California.

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However, in astronomical measurements, the April 19 asteroid's trajectory - zipping about 1.1 million miles away from the Earth - is considered a close call.

Earth is welcoming a rather hefty visitor to the neighborhood Wednesday - an asteroid that hasn't swung by these parts in roughly 400 years. The close approach of the asteroid on April 19 is expected to provide astronauts enough time to analyse it.

We know the time that the object is going to be closest within seconds, and the distance is known within hundreds of kilometres, said Davide Farnocchia, a mathematician at NASA's near-Earth object programme, said before the flyby. It is said to happen again in 2027, when a half all inclusive space rock known as 1999 AN10 will fly by the Earth at a separation of around 236,000 miles. "Astronomers plan to observe it with telescopes around the world to learn as much about it as possible". The close encounter means that even amateur astronomers with small telescopes or binoculars will be able to catch a peek, Space.com notes.

Also on April 19, the comet PanSTARRS will make its nearest Earth pass at a distance of 109 million miles.

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