Asteroid to make near Earth fly-by

Asteroid to make near Earth fly-by

On April 19, an asteroid known as 2014-JO25, measuring 650 meters across is expected to come within 1.8 million kilometers of Earth, which is five times less than the distance to the Moon. Smaller asteroids pass this close to Earth several times a week.

The Rock's close approach is an "alarming reminder" of how potentially devastating chunks of space debris can get within scary distances of Earth, robotic telescope service Slooh said.

NASA has released the following images of a large asteroid as it readies to pass by alarmingly close to Earth on April 19.

It will be closest to our home planet at approximately 8 a.m. EDT Wednesday. One can see it for the next consecutive days with the help of small optical telescopes.

This asteroid was discovered three years ago and is named 2014 JO25 is nearly 650 meters in diameter. At the time, 2014 JO25 was 1.9 million miles (3 million km) from Earth.

The asteroid should be visible in the night sky and could remain visible for one or two nights before it whizzes onward.

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Reports said the encounter with this near-Earth object (NEO) will take place at a proximity of 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers).

Astronomers discovered this at the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona. The U.S. space agency spotted 2014 JO25 early Tuesday morning using its 230-foot antenna at the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California. This particular asteroid won't approach us this close again for another 500 years. Comet PanSTARRS (C/2015 ER61) also is making its closest approach on Wednesday and will come within 109 million miles of Earth.

Smaller asteroids routinely make closer passes to Earth, but 2014 J025, discovered in May 2014, will be the largest asteroid to come this near to the planet since 2004.

The next known encounter of an asteroid of comparable size will occur in 2027 when the half-mile-wide (800-meter-wide) asteroid 1999 AN10 will fly by at one lunar distance.