Cool movie of the asteroid that almost hit us

Posted by David Eicher
on Wednesday, November 09, 2011

You no doubt heard much yesterday about the passage of near-Earth asteroid 2005 YU55, which came within 201,700 miles (324,600 kilometers) of our planet last night. The asteroid was relatively small, about the size of an aircraft carrier, but would have made for some fun and games if it had struck the planet. The fact that it passed 0.85 times as close as the Moon was close enough.

Asteroid 2005 YU55 approaches close Earth flyby. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

In any case, we are temporarily safe once again from space rocks — if only for a time —and so I want to share amateur astronomer John Chumack’s great movie of the asteroid crossing a star field that he shot last night. John created the animation with his 16-inch scope at his backyard observatory in Yellow Springs, Ohio, employing a QHY8 CCD camera and 10-second exposures. The exposures were made at 7:18 p.m. EST November 8, 2011.

I’m also sharing a link to a NASA animation of the asteroid rotating in orbit made with the Goldstone radar system November 7. Check it out here: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?collection_id=77341&media_id=119737731.

Enjoy! And stay safe from space rocks . . .

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