It’s like something from Hollywood, in fact there was a movie made on something very similar. It appears as if a large asteroid will be making a close encounter with the Earth, and the Moon. In fact it will be travelling between the Earth and its lunar friend.
According to NASA the asteroid will be passing within 201,700 miles of Earth which is slightly less than the distance from Earth to Moon. Not many are aware of how often asteroids actually pass this close to Earth, but there is usually not much danger as they are more often than not quite small.
There are a large number of pieces which come smashing into the atmosphere on a regular basis, but before they do any damage they simply burn up. An amazing thing happens when these pieces are as large as a grain of sand, in this scenario we would see them passing through the sky as shooting stars.
However, 2005 YU55 is at minimum 1,300 feet wide, this is larger than an aircraft carrier according to radar measurements. History would have be revisited to find the last time an asteroid this big passed by Earth, more specifically 1976. The next time an asteroid this size will revisit the same path will not be until 2028, of course there will be some smaller pieces flying through but nothing near the size of the asteroid.
Scientists are excited because the fly-by will provide them with an opportunity to learn more about c-type, which is a carbon-based asteroid, to find the information necessary to know what our solar system was like when it was forming.
NASA scientists have been tracking these Near Earth Objects (NEOs), so that they can deduce whether or not there will be any danger in any hitting earth in the future. There is some knowledge saying that a similar asteroid hit Earth billions of years ago, carrying organic, carbon-based materials, and making life possible.
Age of dinosaurs
However, if an asteroid was to hit Earth in modern times it would lead to nothing less than a catastrophe. It was 65 million years ago when an impact brought an end to the age of dinosaurs.
This current asteroid will bring with it many lessons and will raise many issues that will need to be looked at with urgency. 2005 YU55 will serve as an alert that nations from around the world need to get together and come to some agreement as to what the protocol will be if an asteroid enters Earth’s ‘personal space’.