Washington, April 8: An asteroid named 2014 JO25 will pass Earth in a safe distance of 1.8 million kms on April 19. The asteroid was discovered in May 2014 by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona. The size of the asteroid is relatively larger but there’s no possibility of it to collide with our planet. Though, it will be the closest approach of any asteroid of this size to pass Earth after 400 years.
Contemporary measurements by NASA's NEOWISE mission indicate that the asteroid is roughly 2,000 feet (650 meters) in size, and that its surface is about twice as reflective as that of the moon.
At this time very little else is known about the object’s physical properties, even though its trajectory is well known.
The asteroid will approach Earth from the direction of the sun and will become visible in the night sky after April 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.
Also on April 19, the comet PanSTARRS (C/2015 ER61) will make its closest approach to Earth, at a very safe distance of 109 million miles (175 million kilometers).
The April 19 encounter provides an outstanding opportunity to study this asteroid, and astronomers plan to observe it with telescopes around the world to learn as much about it as possible. Radar observations are planned at NASA's Goldstone Solar System Radar in California and the National Science Foundation’s Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and the resulting radar images could reveal surface details as small as a few meters.
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, 5 km asteroid. The next known encounter of an asteroid of comparable size will occur in 2027 when the 800-meter-wide asteroid 1999 AN10 will fly by about 380,000 kilometers.