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NASA has captured a new radar image of asteroid 2005 YU55

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This radar image of asteroid 2005 YU55 was obtained on Nov. 7, 2011, at 11:45 a.m. PST (2:45 p.m. EST/1945 UTC), when the space rock was at 3.6 lunar distances, which is about 860,000 miles, or 1.38 million kilometers, from Earth. CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA has captured a new radar image of 2005 YU55, the huge asteroid due to make a close approach to Earth tomorrow (Nov. 8).

The agency’s Deep Space Network antenna in Goldstone, Calif. snapped the image at 2:45 p.m. EST (1945 GMT) today (Nov. 7), when the aircraft-carrier-size 2005 YU55 was about 860,000 miles (1.38 million kilometers) from Earth, NASA officials said.

Full size of previous image

http://www.space.com

Written by physicsgg

November 8, 2011 at 7:17 am

Posted in ASTRONOMY, ASTROPHYSICS

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Observe asteroid 2005 YU55’s close approach tomorrow night!

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Asteroid 2005 YU55’s close approach
Click here for animation

There is a good opportunity to observe what is currently the largest asteroid that makes a close approach to the Earth on the evening of 8 November. Asteroid 2005 YU55 is 400 metres in size and it will make its closest approach at 11pm at a distance of 324,600km, which is 85 percent of the Earth-Moon distance (but there is no chance of it hitting the Earth!). If you have a 150mm or 200mm ‘scope then, despite the presence of the Moon and the asteroid’s low altitude in the western sky, it should still be possible to see it whizzing across the sky at 8.6 arcminutes a minute at the time of closest approach.

As darkness falls around 6pm the asteroid will be in Ophiuchus, some 24 degrees up and glowing at mag.+15.2. Two hours later it will have brightened by one and a half magnitudes and moved into neighbouring Serpens. At the time of closest approach at 11pm it will have very swiftly moved into Delphinus and brightened to mag. +12, but you will need a clear western horizon to follow it as its altitude will have slipped to 14 degrees.

Time (8 Nov) RA Dec Mag
6pm 17h 53.56m -05° 22.5′ +15.2
7pm 18h 14.56m -00° 36.6′ +14.5
8pm 18h 38.70m +01° 31.3′ +13.8
9pm 19h 06.08m +03° 54.7′ +13.2
10pm 19h 36.46m +06° 29.0′ +12.6
11pm 20h 09.16m +09° 05.7′ +12.1
12am 20h 43.04m +11° 34.3′ +11.7


http://youtu.be/ucuegbwT8MU

www.astronomynow.coml – neo.jpl.nasa.gov

Read also: http://www.space.com

Written by physicsgg

November 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Posted in ASTRONOMY

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