You Can Watch An Asteroid Fly Past Earth Today
The Debrief: It's the closest visit in 400 years.
ASTEROID INCOMING. No, seriously, an asteroid is flying SUPER close to Earth today- which means not only will we all be on tenterhooks waiting for the apocalypse, but we’ll actually be able to see the rock in the sky for the next few days. So basically, another reason to get pissed when we survive until Friday.
Nasa have confirmed that despite the asteroid being the largest to come this close to earth since 2004, we don’t need to panic about our imminent incineration. In a statement, the space agency said:
‘Although there is absolutely no chance that the asteroid will collide with our planet, this will be a very close approach for an asteroid of this size,’
That being said, asteroid 2014 JO25 is still classed as ‘potentially hazardous’ due to the way it’s orbit intersects Earths. At only 4.6 times the distance from the Earth to the moon, you only need an 8-inch telescope to see it. Plus, it’s so massive it’s been nicknamed ‘The Rock’ after Dwayne Johnson and compared to the size of the Rock of Gibraltar. Although if you haven’t got your trusty telescope to hand, you can watch the asteroid be tracked live on Slooh online, from 11pm GMT (7pm EDT) today.
This particular asteroid was first spotted in 2014 by astronomers as part of a collaboration between NASA's Near-Earth Objects Observation Program and the University of Arizona. Over the next few days, astronomers will be yielding more information about it with deep space radar, which they have already done to develop some images of it posted on Nasa’s twitter.
See it for yourself though later tonight, if you don’t catch it now it not set to return for another half a millennium!
At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating