Scientists have been monitoring its trajectory for the past six years and estimate it to come very close to Earth on November 8th, 2011. Don't call Bruce Willis and his Roughnecks just yet... this 'potentially hazardous astroid', Astroid 2005 YU55, does not pose a direct risk in hitting us at all. In fact scientists are more excited than scared and currently prepping to get a better look at this hurling rock as it zips by at a distance of .085 lunar distances (203,027.352 miles).... in the scheme of the universe - that is REALLY close...!!
Extensive plans are being laid to radar image the slow-rotating hell out the rock as it passes, possibly down to resolutions nearing just 15 feet. That will help them build better 3-D models of YU55, as well as project its density and shape.
The good news for the rest of us: increased knowledge of the rock’s spin rate, shape, density, etc. will also improve researchers’ modeling of its whereabouts when it’s not around, enabling better prediction models stretching for decades or even centuries. That way should YU55 come around again we’ll perhaps have a more precise idea of its path, and a better than six-year heads-up.
|"did someone say Astroid...?"|