2014-YB35: massive asteroid set to fly by Earth

Rock should safely fly by, and is much further away than the last almost-visitor

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 25 March 2015 17:45
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An artist's view of a watery asteroid in white dwarf star system.
An artist's view of a watery asteroid in white dwarf star system.

An asteroid that is 1,000-metres wide is set to skim past Earth this week, travelling at more than 23,000 mph.

The rock, named 2014-YB35, will pass by relatively close to Earth. But that is 2.8 million miles away, 11.7 times further away than the moon.

As it skims past, it will be watched by scientists at the Goldstone Observatory, in California’s Mojave Desert. They have already started watching the asteroid, and hope to work out what exact size it is and what it is made up of.

When the last asteroid flew past, such observations yielded unexpected results. Nasa saw that the asteroid was carrying its own moon — about 70 meters across — which was until that point unknown.

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