Asteroid Comes Close to Earth

Posted by BC on January 24th, 2008

Three famous asteroids: Mathilde, Gaspra and IdaI frequently receive inquiries from people with questions about sky happenings, since I am the public contact where I work. The most recent question came from a panicked person who heard that an asteroid was predicted to collide with Earth in a few days. This person wanted to know why nothing was reported on the news and why people weren’t worried. (S)He sent a link to a web site that had information on it, so I checked the site out and determined that a sensationalist had written some preliminary information and had made incorrect determinations on how close the asteroid will come.

The real story is that Asteroid 2007 TU24 will come within 1.4 lunar distances to Earth on 2008 Jan. 29 08:33 UT. The asteroid will be at about 10th magnitude at the time of close approach and should be visible through modest telescopes. The closeness of the asteroid will not cause any affect on Earth.

More information, maps and images of Near Earth Objects can be found on the NEO Program site.

4 people have commented

Dorthy Morabito said,

Where in the sky would be the best place to look for the asteroid? North, south etc, near which planet? Close to the moon? Thank you.

Brenda said,

The asteroid will be in the northern sky. Skyandtelescope.com has a pretty good chart.

Brenda said,

Update on the close passage can be found at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2008-014

Lana Ginger said,

Well, what about Apophis and Nibiru? Are you telling the people about that so that they can survive what’s comming? Nibiru is December 2012. Apophis is 2029 & 2036.

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