It’s the biggest asteroid to pass by the Earth in about 13 years. 2014 JO25 or also known as “The Rock” will have passed the Earth by Thursday. However, it will still be visible into Friday night.
The asteroid is estimated to be about 2,000 feet in size and if you see it, it will be bright. The reason being is that the surface is about twice as reflective as the moon.
It was estimated that “The Rock” will have passed about 1.1 million miles away from Earth. While that sounds like a long distance, in space terms it is really close. For perspective, 1.1 million miles is approximately 4.6 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon. There is also no risk that this asteroid would hit Earth.
It was projected to pass by Earth last night, but there is still no word from NASA if it has done so. However, like stated before, it will still be visible for the next night or so as it moves away from Earth. With the speed it’s travelling it will be out of sight most likely by tomorrow night.
So why is this significant? This pass by will be the closest it will have come by Earth in the past 400 years and it will be the closest approach for at least the next 500 years! It is also close enough for NASA to get radar images of the asteroid! They have already collected some images, but they are hoping to gather more in the next day or so.
Images courtesy of NASA.
If you are trying to find it, you will need a telescope, as it won’t be visible with the naked eye. However, with how bright it is, you should be able to catch a bead on it as long as it’s not too far away from the Earth.
Make sure you follow NASA and stay tuned to News 5 for the latest on sightings found in space!