According to Scientists, we don’t need to start rolling out the retired space shuttle fleet or suiting Bruce Willis up to save the planet, but an asteroid will pass very close to Earth this week. Close is a relative term when we are talking space, but this giant 1,300 foot wide asteroid will pass between the Earth and the moon. The exact distance the asteroid will streak by the Earth is pegged at 201,700 miles according to NASA.
The details on the asteroid come from NASA’s Don Yeomans, manager of the Near Earth Object Program Office at the JPL in California. The asteroid is called YU55 and Yeomans says it poses no threat to the Earth. Yeomans says that the asteroid will be no threat for at least the next 100 years. NASA has spent the time since the asteroid was discovered refining trajectories to get the best telescope for the job to observe the asteroid.
NASA has used that item wisely and expects to be able to get telescopes on the job and observe the passing asteroid at a resolution of 13 feet. That will provide the sort of surface detail that you would get from a spacecraft fly by. YU55 is classified as a c-type asteroid made of the sort of material left over from the formation of the solar system. Sadly, normal stargazers will not be able to see the asteroid as it streaks by the Earth.