A big asteroid will be close to Earth on April 19


It appears to be roughly 2,000 feet (650 meters) in size, with a surface about twice as reflective as that of Earth’s moon  and is traveling though space at a speed of 75,072 mph (120,816 km/h). The asteroid will be visible in amateur telescopes. This will be its closest approach for at least the next 500 years. At 3:40 a.m. Central Time on April 19, the asteroid 2014 JO25 will be located in front of the constellation Draco the Dragon. It is classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid by the Minor Planet Center.

The Arecibo Observatory plans to do high resolution imaging using radar. Preliminary estimates indicate the asteroid’s size is about 60 times the diameter of the asteroid that penetrated the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia in February, 2013. The next known flyby by an object with a comparable or larger diameter will occur when 800-m-diameter asteroid 1999 AN10 approaches within one lunar distance in August 2027.


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