From Reuters:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla (Reuters) – A huge asteroid will pass closer to Earth than the moon Tuesday, giving scientists a rare chance for study without having to go through the time and expense of launching a probe, officials said.
Earth’s close encounter with Asteroid 2005 YU 55 will occur at 6:28 p.m. EST (2328 GMT) Tuesday, as the space rock sails about 201,000 miles from the planet.
“It is the first time since 1976 that an object of this size has passed this closely to the Earth. It gives us a great — and rare — chance to study a near-Earth object like this,” astronomer Scott Fisher, a program director with the National Science Foundation, said Thursday during a Web chat with reporters.
The orbit and position of the asteroid, which is about 1,312 feet in diameter, is well known, added senior research scientist Don Yeomans, with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
“There is no chance that this object will collide with the Earth or moon,” Yeomans said. [Yah… right.  That’s what they’re telling us.  Isn’t NASA now under… you know… ?]
Thousands of amateur and professional astronomers are expected to track YU 55’s approach, which will be visible from the planet’s northern hemisphere. It will be too dim to be seen with the naked eye, however, and it will be moving too fast for viewing by the Hubble Space Telescope.


Lulling us into a sense of security.

Well, everyone.  It’s been great knowin’ ya’ll!

But… come to think of it…. it isn’t too late to make a donation!


From Spaceweather:

ASTEROID FLYBY: NASA radars are monitoring 2005 YU55, an asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier, as it heads for a Nov. 8th flyby of the Earth-Moon system. There is no danger to our planet. At closest approach on Tuesday at 3:28 pm PST (23:28 UT), the space rock will be 324,600 kilometers away. Nevertheless, professional astronomers are eagerly anticipating the flyby as the asteroid presents an exceptionally strong radar target. Even amateur astronomers might be able to photograph it during the hours around closest approach. Check for observing tips and more information.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Michael Floyd says:

    Well, if we’re going to talk asteroid doomsday I would pick April 13th 2036. Tell me these coincidences don’t line up with cinematically chilling titillation…
    The asteroid “Apophis” makes a close encounter that day (Easter Sunday). Its exact trajectory will be determined 7 years earlier on April 13th 2029. So whatever happens in 2029 will determine what happens in 2036. An Earth collision is well within the limts of possibility.
    At Garabandal, Conchita stated that there would be a warning and a chastisement, and that the chastisement would take place on the date of a “martyr of the eucharist”. Well, look it up: April 13th happens to be St Hermenegild’s day. He was martyred in the 4th(?) century for refusing to take the eucharist from an Arian bishop. Conchita gave more details of the date, not pinning it down precisely but April 13th is right in the middle of what she predicted.
    Finally Google “Apophis” (who gets to name asteroids anyway?). He was an Egyptian God, the deification of darkness and chaos (AKA “Apep”). [Not to mention Stargate!]
    I mean come on – it’s a way better plot than the whole 2012 Mayan thing isn’t it? (If the Mayans could predict the future…..where are they?)

  2. Hmm – I was going to wash my cushion covers today. I don’t think I will bother now…
    Any excuse is a good one.

  3. BV says:

    This must be that giant Ukrainian meatball as seen on the plate at the restaurant last week. I am waiting, fork in hand (and glass of wine in the other hand – have to wash it down with something)

  4. BV: Just too many coincidences.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    “It’s closer than you think!” I sincerely hope this is more interesting than all the dull asteroid movies…

  6. BV says:

    I wonder which network will have an impromptu airing of Armageddon tonight.

  7. APX says:


    Deep Impact schooled Armageddon. Far more believable.

  8. Patti Day says:

    Since the earthquake we had a couple months ago, I’m no longer frightened by astroid flybys, falling space junk, or whoever that minister was who predicted the end last spring. Come to think of it, didn’t he say his calculations were off, and that the real date would be around now? Uh oh.

  9. Fortiter Pugnem says:

    Patti Day,
    I hope that minister continues his predictions, because the Bible clearly says no one will guess the day! In that case, if he keeps it up, we’re safe. I know it has to end sometime, but I don’t want to be caught napping!

  10. Tim Ferguson says:

    and speaking of coincidences – on November 9, mere hours after this asteroid passes by, the FCC will “test” our communication networks by shutting everything down – at 2:00 p.m.

    I, for one, will be wearing a tinfoil hat the next couple of days…

  11. APX says:

    @Patti Day

    He apologized again for his incorrect calculations, and has since retired from his ministry.

  12. pm125 says:

    I’m not lulled by Hubble not able to view it and look forward to late evening election returns – when it will probably have gone along for another hundred years.

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