Big space rock flies close to Earth, no harm done

Big space rock flies close to Earth, no harm done

This image made from radar data obtained on Nov. 7, 2011 at 11:45 a.m. PST (2:45 p.m. EST/1945 UTC) and provided by NASA shows asteroid 2005 YU55 when the space rock was at 3.6 lunar distances, which is about 860,000 miles, or 1.38 million kilometers, from Earth. The asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier is set to make a close but harmless swing by Earth on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011. Scientists at NASA's Near-Earth Object Program, which tracks asteroids and comets, ruled out any chance of impact. (AP

The “space rock” named 2005 YU55 approached earth at a distance of 3,25,000 km at 3.28 a.m. Tuesday, moving at a speed of 13.7 km/sec.

Scientists around the globe have been monitoring the approach of the 2005 YU55 on and off ever since the asteroid has been discovered by Robert McMillan form the University of Arizona six years ago.

2005 YU55 has never been classified as a real threat to earth but rather as an opportunity for astronomers to study the asteroid in its closest flyby of our planet in 200 years.

The gravitational influence of the “space visitor” had no detectable effect on Earth, including tides and tectonic plates, as NASA experts earlier predicted. The next time a known “space rock” of a similar size will come close to earth will be in 2028, when the 2001 WN5 asteroid flies by Earth at a distance of 248,000 km.

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