Huge Asteroid Will Zip By Earth in November

Astronomers excited about close-up look
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2011 3:53 PM CDT
Updated May 7, 2011 11:20 AM CDT
A file photo of the asteroid Eros. It's not the one that's coming in November, which has the tamer name of 2005 YU55.   (AP Photo/NASA)

(Newser) – A massive space rock will fly by Earth in November, and astronomers already are jazzed about getting a rare close-up view, reports Universe Today. The asteroid, named 2005 YU55, is about the size of an aircraft carrier and will come within about 200,000 miles of Earth on November 8, notes Asteroids of this size have come as close before, but scientists have never been as technologically prepared to zoom in as they are now.

This type of asteroid is "thought to be representative of the primordial materials from which our solar system was formed," says a NASA scientist. "This flyby will be an excellent opportunity to test how we study, document, and quantify which asteroids would be most appropriate for a future human mission." And don't worry: It "poses no threat of an Earth collision over, at the very least, the next 100 years." Click to read about another nearby asteroid.

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