Aircraft Carrier Sized Asteroid to Pass Between Earth And Moon Tomorrow

As you long time readers know I’m fascinated by all things space related, and the news that an aircraft carrier sized asteroid is passing between the Earth and the Moon got my attention.

The asteroid is named 2005 YU55 and it is being watched by ground antennas as it approaches Earth from the direction of the sun.  It will pass within 202,000 miles of our home planet and less than 150,000 miles from the Moon at 5:28 PM CST tomorrow.

That’s the closest approach any space rock has made to our planet in 35 years, but scientists are satisfied it won’t hit either the Earth or the Moon.  

“We’re extremely confident, 100 percent confident, that this is not a
threat,” said the Don Yeomans, the manager of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program.  “But it is an opportunity.”

If it did it according to Purdue University professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences Jay Melosh, it would be a very bad day for the planet.  If it struck land it would gouge out a crater four miles wide and 1700 feet deep with the explosive power of 25,000 Hiroshima bombs.  If it hit the ocean it would cause a 70 foot high tsunami that would speed toward the nations bordering whatever ocean it hit.

Melosh also echoed what Yeomans stated in terms of the Earth and Moon being safe this time, but hope both of y’all double and triple checked your math.

At any rate, not canceling any plans I had for Wednesday either.  .  

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