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Massive Asteroid To Fly Past The Earth At Closest Approach This Month

First Posted: Apr 10, 2017 03:35 AM EDT

A massive asteroid known as 2014 JO25 will streak past the planet Earth on April 19. However, there is no need to panic because the large asteroid will not collide with the planet Earth, according to scientists.

The asteroid was identified by astronomers from the Catalina Sky Survey in 2014. This is a project of NASA's Neo Observations Program in partnership with the University of Arizona. It is approximately 2,000 feet (650 meters) in size and with the surface that is about twice as that of the Moon.

So, how close the rock will approach the Earth? NASA said that this asteroid will streak past the planet Earth with a distance of about 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers). This is approximately 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the Moon, according to Phys.org.

This is considered the closest approach to planet Earth by any known asteroid of this size since the asteroid Toutatis in 2004. The asteroid 2014 JO25 might be seen using a telescope or one can watch the asteroid online here.

NASA stated that the asteroid 2014 JO25 will approach the Earth from the direction of the Sun and will become noticeable in the night sky after April 19. It further stated that there will be radar observations that will be set at NASA's Goldstone Solar System Radar in California and the National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. This could uncover the surface details of the asteroid as small as a few meters, according to CNN.

Likewise, the comet PanSTARRS (C/2015 ER61) will streak close to Earth on April 19 as well at a distance of 109 million miles (175 million kilometers). This comet was discovered by the Pan-STARRS NEO survey team in 2015 in Haleakala, Hawaii. It could be seen now in the dawn sky using a telescope or binoculars.

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