An asteroid named 2014 JO25 will be flying past Earth on Wednesday, April 19, from a distance of around 1.8 million kilometres.
Asteroid 2014 JO25 was discovered in May 2014, and will soon fly by our planet. Now, the question you must all be asking yourselves, will it hit us? NASA scientists explain that it will be flying by at a safe distance from us: 1.8 million kilometres, which is over 4 times the distance between the moon and Earth. According to astronomers, it is not going to collide with us. Still, for an asteroid of this size, the approach is a very close one (2014 JO25 is a relatively large asteroid, 650 metres in size).
NASA has successfully traced its trajectory. However, little is known concerning its physical properties. It will approach us from the direction of the sun. It will be possible to view it in the night sky after April 19; small optical telescopes will be handy.
The 2014 discovery was made by a team of astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona—they were working on a joint project of NASA’s NEO (Near-Earth Objects) Observations Program, and the University of Arizona.
This event will mark the closest approach, and the largest asteroid, since a similar sighting in 2004, when asteroid Toutatis was at 4 lunar distances from us. Another such encounter is now scheduled for 2027.
Another interesting finding of NASA’s is that the surface of the asteroid is two times more reflective than that of the moon.