ISSN 2330-717X

Big Space Rock Flies Close To Earth

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A 400-meter-wide asteroid harmlessly zipped past Earth early on Wednesday, closer to our planet than the Moon’s orbit.

The “space rock” named 2005 YU55 approached our planet at a distance of 325,000 kilometers (about 202,000 miles), or within 0.85 lunar distances of the Earth, at 3.28 a.m. Moscow time (23:28 GMT on Tuesday), moving at a speed of 13.7 km/sec.

Scientists around the globe have been monitoring the approach of the 2005 YU55 on and off ever since the asteroid has been discovered by Robert McMillan form the University of Arizona six years ago.

2005 YU55 has never been classified as a real threat to Earth but rather as an opportunity for astronomers to study the asteroid in its closest flyby of our planet in 200 years.

The gravitational influence of the “space visitor” had no detectable effect on Earth, including tides and tectonic plates, as NASA experts earlier predicted.

The next time a known “space rock” of a similar size will come close to Earth will be in 2028, when the 2001 WN5 asteroid flies by Earth at a distance of 248,000 km (154,000 miles).

Ria Novosti

RIA Novosti was Russia's leading news agency in terms of multimedia technologies, website audience reach and quoting by the Russian media.

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