Picture of the Day: The Path of the Asteroid Passing by Earth Today

By Rebecca J. Rosen

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Later today an asteroid will fly by the Earth, coming closer to our planet than the Moon does during its orbit. The asteroid, 2005 YU55, is 1,300 feet wide. It will come closest to Earth at 6:28 PM EST, at which point it will be a little over 200,000 miles from us, 85 percent of the distance to the Moon. The orbit of 2005 YU55 brings it close to Earth, Venus, and Mars regularly, but this is the closest it has come to our planet in at least 200 years. No other asteroid this size has come this close to Earth in more than 30 years and none are expected to do so again until 2028.

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:

Image: NASA.


This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/11/picture-of-the-day-the-path-of-the-asteroid-passing-by-earth-today/248064/