Asteroid to Pass Close to Earth and the Moon

By Vickie Frantz, Staff Writer

Nov 6, 2011; 1:05 AM ET

The path of Earth is highlighted in blue, the path of the moon is highlighted in gray and the path of the asteroid is highlighted red.

The 2005 YU55 asteroid will pass within 202,000 miles of Earth on Tuesday and 149,000 miles of the moon on Wednesday.

The asteroid measures a quarter of a mile across and is the largest object to pass so close to Earth since 1976, according to NASA.

While the asteroid is passing close, scientists have no fear that it will strike either Earth or the moon.

The asteroid was first discovered in 2005 and it has been tracked by NASA ever since.

Astronomers report that the make-up of this asteroid is not rock like most of them. The 2005 YU55 asteroid is said to contain carbon-based materials and may even contain water.

Asteroids of this size rarely strike Earth. A strike occurs approximately once every 100,000 years. The asteroid Apophis, measuring approximately 882 feet across, will pass close by Earth in April 2029 and could possibly hit the Earth on its next passage in 2036.

via Asteroid to Pass Close to Earth and the Moon.


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