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Large asteroid will fly by Earth this evening

Asteroid 2014 JO25 will pass by our planet at approximately 1.8 million km
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A nearly 2,000-foot asteroid will be visible as it flies past Earth on Apr. 19.

No need to call in Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck however, as this asteroid won't bring Armageddon to our planet.

The asteroid, known as 2014 JO25 was discovered in May 2014 by astronomers at the Cataline Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona. 

The asteroid will approach Earth from the direction of the sun and will become visible in the night sky after Apr. 19. It is predicted to brighten to about magnitude 11, when it could be visible in small optical telescopes for one or two nights before it fades as the distance from Earth rapidly increases.

Small asteroids pass within this distance of Earth several times each week, but this upcoming close approach is the closest by any known asteroid of this size, or larger, since asteroid Toutatis, a 5-km asteroid, which approached within about four lunar distances in September 2004. 

The next known encounter of an asteroid of comparable size will occur in 2027 when the 800 metre wide asteroid, 1999 AN10, will fly by at one lunar distance, about 236,000 380,000 km.

The Apr. 19 encounter will see 2014 JO25 fly by the earth at a distance of roughly 1.8 million km, or about 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the moon. Apr. 19, 2017 will mark the closest that this asteroid has come to Earth for at least the last 400 years, and will be its closest approach for at least the next 500 years.

If the cosmos are your thing, you won't want to close your eyes and you definitely won't want to fall asleep, because you'll miss it.

Check out this computer-generated image from NASA depicting the flyby of asteroid 2014 JO25.



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