No, 2005 YU55 won't destroy the Earth

By Phil Plait | May 9, 2011 11:00 am

On November 8th of this year, the 400-meter-wide asteroid 2005 YU55 will pass the Earth, missing us by the comfortable margin of 325,000 kilometers (200,000 miles).

While this is the largest asteroid (that we know of) to swing past us for the next 17 years or so, YU55 is not an immediate threat to Earth. Its orbit does bring it close enough to our planet that it’s been deemed a potentially hazardous asteroid, but the orbit is well-enough known that we can rule out an impact for at least the next century. That’s long enough for me personally to not be concerned.

I’ve seen some small amount of buzz on the usual conspiracy sites about this asteroid, and I do see some folks trying to play this up a bit (search on "YU55 doomsday" for example), but fear-mongering chatter is surprisingly low for this event. I expect that by this fall you’ll be seeing breathless YouTube videos accusing NASA of covering up a imminent impact — and I don’t say this blithely; it’s happened before. Remember asteroid 2007 TU24? No? That’s because nothing happened, despite the claims of panic-promoters.

As you can see in this JPL animation below, in November YU55 will miss us by a cosmic mile as well (click to embiggen and get a clearer animation):

You can see the Earth at the center (the diagonal line if the Earth’s orbit around the Sun), the Moon orbiting the Earth, and the path of YU55. The scale on the bottom is a million kilometers, about 620,000 miles. The Moon’s orbit is roughly 770,000 km (475,000 miles) wide. The path of YU55 cuts a shallow chord across the Moon’s orbit, well away from our planet.

Still, there’s a chance for some real science on this rock. At that distance, it’ll appear so small (1/4 arcseconds across, where the Moon is 1800 arcsec across for comparison) that it’ll be too small even for Hubble to make much of it — at best, in Hubble’s cameras it will appear to be just two pixels across. And that’s even if Hubble could track it, which it can’t.

But the Deep Space Network of radio telescopes can actually get very high resolution imagery using sophisticated techniques, possibly getting images with a resolution of just 4 meters — the size of an SUV — on the asteroid. That means YU55 will be 100 pixels across, enough to see some details on the surface, including craters, boulders, and even possibly a moon if it has one. Pretty cool.

So anyway, just in case the icky underside of the internet tries to play this up later this year, shouting doom-and-gloom, let me be clear:

Image credit: NASA/Cornell/Arecibo. Animation: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Related posts:

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Blastroid
Kleopatra and her kids
Media fail again: HuffPo and Apophis ediution
Video of asteroid near miss from this morning

Comments (82)

  1. FoxtrotCharlie

    It’s just occurred to me to wonder if we track potentially hazardous asteroids for the Moon. Maybe an asteroid might miss us but could strike the moon. The effects on us would probably be small or non-existent, but it would be interesting to know (at least in theory) what kind of impact size would be required on the moon to cause a noticeable effect on Earth.

  2. Brian

    The real reason we don’t have to worry about the Nov. 8 asteroid collision is because the world will come to an end again on May 21.
    http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/01/03/judgement-day-will-may-21-2011-be-the-end-of-the-world/

  3. James H.

    Will we be able to get more high resolution photos as it passes?

  4. wildcardjack

    I haven’t done the math on the amount of mass needed to provide enough DeltaV to move a asteroid this size into orbit, but with mass costing $5000/kilo to LEO it could be a great boon to space industry to catch and refine.

  5. Okay, the top down view is cool, but what about from another angle? How far above/below the orbital plane of the earth/moon system will this rock be? And what effects on its orbit will this passage have?

    I for one am looking forward to the science that will get done. I may even bake a cake in celebration of this rock.

  6. Carey

    Shouldn’t the track for YU55 in the animation show a curve as it receives a gravity assist from Earth, or is that not modeled?

  7. Craig Sachs

    Will it be at least bright enough to see with my telescope ?

  8. IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE

    RE: “…, where the Moon is 3600 arcsec across for comparison…”

    That’s not correct; the Moon’s actual angular diameter is, on average, 31′ 25″ or 1885 arcsec.

  9. Wayne on the Plains

    Carey,
    I’m guessing that at the scale of the animation and the distance to the Earth, any effect like that would not be visually noticeable.

  10. @ IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE – good catch! I think BA had a brain fart, thinking 3600 ercsec /degree, but then forgetting that the moon is only 1/2 degree in angular size as seen from earth.
    Anyone know what time of day it will pass? Like Craig I would like to watch it buzz by with my scope. With my luck, probably mid day for my location…

  11. You do realize, of course, that 2007 TU24 didn’t cause the end of the world because of a massive effort by psychics to steer it away from us with a blast of mental energy waves? No? You didn’t know that? Well you would, if you hadn’t bought that whole NASA “we’re perfectly safe” line.

    So, don’t you be getting all uppitysmart, or this time they’ll just go ahead and let that sucker slam into the Earth.

  12. MNP

    So what I’m curious about is whether it’s possible for pieces to break off and land on Earth?

    Obviously I’m not saying this is some sort of dangerous thing, not any more than any random small rock that falls to Earth and either lands in a field doing no damage, or puts a whole through someone’s roof, etc. I’m just curious if it’ll leave a little trail of stuff.

  13. Matt B.

    This would be a good related-rate problem for calculus classes.

  14. I’m curious, if something like this hit the Moon, would there be enough energy released for a glowing explosion, or maybe just a plume of material or something (something we could see is what I’m getting at)? Seems like with the moon’s low gravity and loose, fine dust, a rock this big would throw up a hell of a lot of material.

  15. Dennis

    Do I detect a hint of disappointment from BA?

  16. CB

    Well what if 2005YU55 does destroy the earth? Won’t you look foolish then!

  17. IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE

    @Bipedal Tetrapod — Thanks! As for what time of day it will pass, YU55 will be at closest approach to: the Earth on 2011/11/08 at 23:28 UTC*; the Moon on 2011/11/09 at 07:14 UTC*.

    *Source: JPL Small-Body Data Browser.

  18. Cairnos

    Man I’m dissapointed, I googled on YU55 Doomsday as you suggested hoping for some giggles and what comes first? “No, 2005 YU55 won’t destroy the Earth” by some blog called Bad Astronomy.

  19. Charlie Foxtrot

    Yeah, I was expecting more of a slingshot effect in the animation as well.
    Ah well, science trumps assumptions… again…

    (also – a wave to FoxtrotCharlie from obviously a similar minded person :) )

  20. ceramicfundamentalist

    i think the path of the asteroid is not shown being significantly deflected by the earth’s gravity because the asteroid would be moving much faster in its orbit about the sun than the moon moves in its orbit about the earth. however, my calculations show the moon moves a little over 1000m/s, and i would guess the asteroid would be moving 10-20 faster than that. considering the asteroid comes closer to the earth than the moon, i’m still surprised that it’s not bumped off its regular orbit just a little bit.

    also, i’m surprised that this asteroid is moving perpendicular to earth’s orbit. is it shooting out of the sun?

  21. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^ ceramicfundamentalist : “.. surprised that this asteroid is moving perpendicular to earth’s orbit. is it shooting out of the sun?”

    That’s just an effect of the scale and angle and perspective – and the asteroid’s highly eccentric (elliptical) orbit I think. Remember that space is extremely, exceedingly, mind-bogglingly BIG and any objects within it are minuscule in comparison – even our daytime star! ;-)

  22. thePiggy

    This is just a question which had popped up in my head. Just thought this will be the best place to get the answer –
    I am not an astronomer. So my question below might contain a lot of factual errors and foolishness. But I had this doubt for a long time, which I wanted to solve.

    For avoiding asteroid impact – is the following method thought out and discarded?

    Keep a pretty big satellite circling (or nearby) the earth. Make it the fastest man made object – if possible even faster than Solar Probe + , by using gravity assists. Now, suppose we find that an asteroid is going to hit the earth, get this satellite to impact the asteroid and nudge it out of position so that it doesnt hit earth.

    The advantage of this option is:
    1. The satellite is always on standby – so if it is required, we can use it in a short notice (1 year range)
    2. The more the time we have – i.e. if the asteroid is going to hit us in say 50 years, more slingshot runs we could do and due to gravity assists so that we can increase the speed to a very huge value
    3. The faster it is, the less mass it need be – say a satellite weighing 10 ton and say moving at 200 km/s should be able to nudge 2005 YU55 –
    Comparison:
    Asteroid Diameter: 100 m
    Asteroid size: approx 10^6 ton – speed 10 km/s
    Satellite: size: approx 10 ton – speed 200 km/s
    Energy ratio ~= 250 : 1

    If we consider a much bigger asteroid, say 2005 YU55, the ratio would be 25,000 : 1 which is also not very bad.

    This looks good enough to nudge the asteroid away – from my non-scientific viewpoint. Am I completely wrong here?

  23. Grand Lunar

    Too bad we couldn’t launch a quick probe to meet up with the asteroid and study it.

  24. toasterhead

    I propose that we rename it Nibiru, just to mess with the 2012ers.

  25. gss_000

    @2. James H.

    Definitely. If you read the reports with actual news and not the doomsday scenarios, there are observational campaigns gearing up for this. It’s almost like nature saved us the need to send a spacecraft for a flyby.

  26. Phil:
    ALMA is accepting early science proposals. Apply for telescope time for thus event. Time’s a wastin’!
    This is the premiere instrument for imaging this rock. Well, along with Arecibo/GBT in radar.

  27. don gisselbeck

    One of the links for YU55 doomsday had an ad for an end of the world book followed by a Cadillac ad.

  28. Messier Tidy Upper

    “No, 2005 YU55 won’t destroy the Earth”

    It’s not just that 2005 YU55 won’t destroy the world. ’05-YU55+ can’t destroy the world. It just ain’t big enough to do more than leave a whopping great crater! Regional extinction event? Global extinction event? Maybe. But Earth itself will survive fine – even if we don’t. ;-)

    Even an impact with Ceres, the largest asteroid or smallest planet depending how you define such things wouldn’t destroy the Earth. (I’m pretty sure.) Although it would probably dent it! ;-)

    Again, that’s *IF* 05-YU55+ was going to hit our globe which it won’t – at least not this time.

    Hope & expect we’ll keep track of it in the future. The odds are very unlikely it’ll ever impact our planet eventually over aeons of time – but not nil.

    *****

    + For short. Is there an accepted abbrievation convention here?

    PS. On the lower “red NO” image – what’s Sauron’s / Bilbo’s / Frodo’s One Ring (to rule them all) doing falling into Earth’s upper atmosphere like that? Wasn’t that supposed to have been destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom (Mordor) long ago? ;-)

  29. Raymond Lang

    FoxtrotCharlie – Any strike on the moon would probably not cause much effects on the Earth, and if it was big enough (to create a new Mare, for instance) we’d only see things like tektites falling for a while.

    Craig Sachs – This asteroid is approaching from the sunward direction, so any visual sightings will be after sunset. It’s possible with a good 10″ scope that it’ll be visible, but the speed at which it’ll be moving will make it a challenge for spotting and photographic efforts.

    Charlie Foxtrot – Given the distance at which this one will pass, the gravitational effects will be pretty minimal. Plus it is a fairly good sized rock (400 meters), it’s the small ones that seem to get kinked in the orbit when passing within lunar distances.

    Messier Tidy Upper – An impact with a Ceres-sized asteroid would do some pretty severe damage to this world, actually. Even if you were on the opposite side of the globe from impact, you’d end up with the kind of disaster scenario that Hollywood loves to exploit.

    Besides, the real threat as far as an impact goes isn’t going to be with any of the current asteroids we’re tracking, nor with 1950 DA (a 2 on the Torino scale), but with 109P/Swift-Tuttle. Projecting out a good ways (and admitting that predicting that far in advance is highly variable), there’s a chance this one might find the right path for a collision. We’re talking a 24km wide object that regularly comes close enough to us that it could mess up your ecosystem without blinking.

  30. Aaron

    No it won’t destroy us but it will cause a lot of problems. Right here on this very page you show it passing by our planet closer to us than the moon ever gets. We all know that the tides are controlled by the moon and it’s proximity –

    “Tides are created because the Earth and the moon are attracted to each other, just like magnets are attracted to each other. The moon tries to pull at anything on the Earth to bring it closer. But, the Earth is able to hold onto everything except the water. Since the water is always moving, the Earth cannot hold onto it, and the moon is able to pull at it. Each day, there are two high tides and two low tides. The ocean is constantly moving from high tide to low tide, and then back to high tide. There is about 12 hours and 25 minutes between the two high tides.”

    What is the asteroid’s mass compared to that of the moon? Do you know what if any it’s gravitational force is? Do you know what it’s made of? Do you know what it’s effects on our magnetosphere will be? Do you know if it will interfere with our own poles and gravity? Do you know if it will have an effect on our tides? Do you know if there will be an overlapping CME sent our way around the same time it’s supposed to pass by? What kind of effects will it have on the moon?

    If you can’t answer these questions, and I’m supposing no one can, you can’t discount the fact that it could have a catastrophic effect on the planet.

  31. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ ^Raymond Lang : Damage sure! Destroy? Not quite! ;-)

    Barring real life supervillains, it’ll most likely take the Sun going red giant in five billion years time or so to actually destroy our Earth. Outside chance (1% or so If I Recall Right) that orbital chaos caused by Mercury-Venus interactions could do our globe major harm beforehand but even then it would take something “special” to physically destroy our planet. After all, it survived the Big Splash impact that made our Moon and that was with a Mars-sized body.

  32. here’s a link to an image of 2005 yu55’s full orbit.

    http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=2005YU55;orb=1

    i guess the interesting thing is that it passes through the ecliptic at about the same time as it intersects earth’s orbit, meaning that it can have x, y, and z coordinates that are quite similar to those of the earth. still, i don’t understand how it can intersect the earth’s orbit at an angle being so close to perpendicular with an eccentricity of .429. something seems fishy to me.

  33. GT

    Not to worry. That’s US election day. We can be destroyed in other ways…. /sarc

  34. frankenstein monster

    Wonder how much effort it would take to bring this one to earth orbit. A chunk of charcoal in high orbit around earth could be valuable. Maybe we could moor ISS to it and start mining.

  35. Mr. Physics

    Raymond Lang says: “…Plus it is a fairly good sized rock (400 meters), it’s the small ones that seem to get kinked in the orbit when passing within lunar distances.”

    Bigger rocks need more force to deflect them from their path … but being more massive they DO feel more force. The mass actually cancels out in the equations so that any mass that is significantly less than the Earth or Moon (so as to not disturb THEIR orbits) will follow the same path, be it big or small.

  36. Michael Swanson

    Your post here is all fine and dandy, but it still doesn’t address the fact that, the opinions of science aside, it’s to going to kill us all. What are they paying you?

    :)

  37. DrBB

    @30

    Aw, Michael, I was so missing that perspective on this thread. Thanks–it warms my heart.

    Sometimes you just gotta troll your own…

  38. Buzz Parsec

    @30

    Phil’s got BLOG money, punk!

  39. Loving the “Say No To Soufflé” graphic. Can I use it?

  40. Michael Swanson

    Ack! You’re all in on it!

    Also, I object to the “troll” moniker. In the old days I would have merely been called a “smart a**.”

  41. Joseph G

    I really wonder why people have such an easy time believing that astronomers would (or could) keep a doomsday asteroid under wraps for more then a few hours. Scientists don’t keep secrets, they publish results.
    I’m fairly sure that even the most accomplished astronomers on earth would, upon seeing Lucifer’s Hammer bearing down, do pretty much exactly the same thing a layperson would do, that is, call up another observatory and say “Holy ****ing Haleakala, look at this! Am I nuts, or are we doomed?!?”

  42. Michael Swanson

    @ 34

    Conspiracy nuts are weird. On the one hand they greatly simplify what are complex systems, like astronomy: “All astronomers are either in collusion with or under threat by the Facist Communist Zionist Free Mason Reptile Government, and are hiding Nibiru!” But then they greatly complicate very simple things, like the collapse of the twin towers after being struck by airplanes. And then they do that in layers! They tie myriad ideas together to show a conspiracy, but then simplify the science to suit their view, like incessantly pointing out that the temperatures in the towers weren’t enough to melt steel, when you don’t need to melt it, you just need to heat it enough to weaken it! That’s right, architects and engineers didn’t plan on planes laden with jet fuel flying though the building!

  43. Wzrd1

    You forgot the sooper seekrit conspiracy of thousands that only THEY know about and the thousands involved are all silent, but the idiot KNOWS the troooth!
    I had a discussion with a few of those propeller hat crowd over those towers. One of the many, many things I was trained in during my military career was explosive demolition, to include controlled implosions. They either refuse to believe that much of the support elements of the building would have to be removed, generating many tons of concrete and steel debris that would have to be removed, generate merry hell in noise, be impossible to go unnoticed for several floors up and down. Either they refuse to believe it (watched too many episodes of Hogan’s heroes?) or they actually say that that DID happen and the hundreds of workers removing all that debris are magically silent.
    So, construction workers can keep silent, but military cannot, as if a bomb kills ONE person that wasn’t a target, it makes the news.
    But then, these are the same folks who think that the US government wants to take over the country. I’m guessing they don’t realize who RUNS the country day to day…
    But then, it’s all the grand conspiracy of the space aliens, flying about in their flying teacups and escorted by the flying saucers. And the aliens hide that by inducing a false dream about a family dispute… ;)

    Seriously though, if that asteroid were to impact the moon, which obviously isn’t happening this time, I wonder if it would deliver a decent amount of minerals AND expose lunar minerals in sufficient quantity to be of worth mining. Anything much bigger would generate enough debris to make lunar approach potentially problematic, but this might just be big enough to deposit AND expose some of the deeper minerals that a colony could use.
    Anyone’s thoughts?

  44. RwFlynn

    @3. Larian LeQuella Says:
    May 9th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    “I for one am looking forward to the science that will get done. I may even bake a cake in celebration of this rock.”

    *golf clap*

  45. Raymond Lang

    @34 – It’s much easier for people (the generic masses) to believe that if a large asteroid or comet was approaching the planet that they would keep it secret so as to minimize the panic that would occur. This is despite the fact that anything spotted would be transmitted around the world within minutes thanks to our communication systems. Not to mention that such a large object would give plenty of time before potential approach/impact and that alternatives would be put into effect on how to handle it.

    That having been said, there is always the possibility that a very low albedo object may evade observation and discovery, arriving from a sunward direction so that discovery of that object might only be hours away before closest approach (if not an actual impact). In that case, a warning might only go out but I strongly think it wouldn’t be issued from the chaos that would ensue in the impact area.

  46. noen

    It would be cool if it hit the moon and the dust that it kicked up made rings around the moon. That would be very cool.

  47. Joseph G

    @#3 Larian: Oh jeez, now you’ve got me going.

    ♫ But there’s no sense crying over every mistake.
    You just keep on trying, till you run out of cake.♫

    And the science gets done, and you-

    Gahhh now it’s stuck in my head again

  48. Joseph G

    @35 Michael Swanson: Conspiracy nuts are weird. On the one hand they greatly simplify what are complex systems, like astronomy: “All astronomers are either in collusion with or under threat by the Facist Communist Zionist Free Mason Reptile Government, and are hiding Nibiru!”

    Gahhhh! It’s stupid but it’s true.
    The really embarassing part is that I actually used to sound like that. Back before I accepted Science into my life, I was as huge a conspiracy nut as Alex Jones and his ilk. So, sadly, I’m all too familiar with all of those theories. And that’s the thing, they very seldom come up with new ones. It’s always a twist or two on an idea that’s already been repeated (and debunked) ad nauseum. If someone tries to tell me about the conspiracy du jour, I can practically finish every sentence for them, even if the last I heard of it was 15 years ago when I actually read that stuff.
    Anyway, excellent observations about simplifying that which can’t be simplified, and then going and coming up with really complex BS when it’s not necessary.

  49. Wzrd1

    Bleh, it won’t matter, come the 21st of May. For, we’ll all be too sore from laughing come the 22nd to care about the conspiracy theory of the week.
    Come to think of it, what’s that 2012 date again? I might get a big banner for the following day to place across my house saying, “We’re STILL HERE, DUMMIES!”

  50. Claude

    One thing the author does not mention is the duration of the near miss.
    And when will this happen? At night?

  51. Amanda

    It matters little whether you believe in The grand designer or not, but one thing is certain. One day you Will stand before him. I hope you are ready.

  52. B

    Asteroid YU55 will make a fine addition to any meteoryte collection

  53. Brian

    It’s actually been re-projected to come within 25,000 miles now. The predictions of paths get more accurate as the date approaches.

    November 9th

    The planetary alignments for November, I’m afraid, provide a slingshot path right into the Earth, from my research. It comes within 0.0023AU’s from Earth, or = 25,059 miles.

    That is alarmingly close, for a 400 meter asteroid.

    This will be an awfully close call if it doesn’t hit.

  54. Brian: check your math. 0.002 AU = 300,000 km or 180,000 miles. That’s what has been predicted all along.

    And planetary alignments have nothing at all to do with this; the planets are too far away from this object to affect its course by any measurable amount.

  55. Justin Otte

    Ok guys…for the “layman”….I am in raleigh, nc, can I see the thing fly by?

  56. Jiberish

    ~175 Meters. NOT 400 Meters.

  57. Sandeep

    I dont think anything will happen to the earth. Fools are talking so many things. NOnsense. There can be no Elenin crash or YU crash. Sleep well, eat well, and be happy.

  58. Lynn

    How close will it come to the moon? Is it possible it could effect the moon?

  59. Fatalistic?

    So… Has anybody seen RECENT imagry of this “small comet”? Just wonderin’ if it’s headed right at us and will be here in the next month or so, shouldn’t we get a better look by now? Who know’s maybe it’s really a Krylon distroyer or something evil!! ;-)

  60. cory

    i didnt know the the speed of yu55 so i guessed at it and ran it on “impact earth”it would make a 1.2 mile crater and apretty deep one and a 7.3 eq but at 100 miles you wouldnt get a lot of damage from it some wind n dust after a while

  61. cory

    in a dream i had, an asteroid hit east of north texas then a couple of weeks ago i heard about this yu55 . alot of stuff lined up with this very clear dream. the placement of the moon and it was almost full also goes along with10-8-11 only it was a day earlier in the dream

  62. Scott

    Looks suspiciously like a Kzinti warship…. ;)

  63. Kat

    Anyone else find it weird that TPTB are “testing” the emergency broadcast system nationally the day after YU55 is to make its flyby?

  64. domsooch

    Is Bruce Willis available to land on this thing and destroy it?? Hey wait we’ll get Bruce willis, Sylvester Stallone, Will Smith, Lady Gaga, and Chuck Norris up there in space suits, and they will be up in orbit and await it, and KICK ITS ASS if it tries to hit us!!!!!

  65. rr
  66. Smurfi

    Is it possible to put a rover or camera of some kind on 2005YU55? I can think of some possible problems but I am no astronomer so I do not know the details. Off the top of my head I can think of speed, the asteroid/meteor will be traveling to fast to latch onto, trajectory, maybe it’s headed straight for the sun and range, this meteor/asteroid will travel to far and fast for a connection between it and earth. It would make for some interesting deep space pictures etc.

  67. Kawarthajon

    How fast is this thing travelling through the solar system? Could we catch up to it to land something on it?

  68. Booger

    yeah it will kill us bozos. We gonna get our socks knocked on.

  69. the reason the powers that be would keep a global catastrophe like an exctinction event quiet,
    is because they see this as an excellent opportunity to create a new world order for their shape-shifting lizard kind.

    is it any wonder that crocodiles and lizards survived the last extinction event, and the dinosaurs didn’t? the dino’s weren’t down with the program.

  70. S

    An Ode to Conspiracists, and other purveyors of manufactured panic.

    Do you know what I think? I think the real reason why governments wouldnt tell us if we were going to be hit is because they probably cant be bothered or might just forget. You know how it is, how many times have you taken a phonecall for someone else and then forgot to pass the message on? I’ve done it loads of times. My dad used to get like 20 calls a night from people related to his work, so I have experience in these things. Trust me, once you’ve handled one call too many, the importance of passing messages on loses it’s priority level. So come on dudes, cut these government types a break. It does’nt have to always be some insidious reason why they dont tell us. I’m getting a bit bored with it actually, the very least these panic hawkers could do is use a little more imagination…..oooh they wouldnt want you to know cos they dont want you to panic. Really? I’d say thats rather considerate of them and I thank them for thinking about my mental health in the face of an impending doom that I can do absolutely nothing about. They’ve saved me from worrying about it. I’d say thats a good reason for some good old fashioned gratitude. So what if they’re holed up in their mountain, good luck to them. If they had the wherewithal to build themselves some protection while the rest of us farted about treating life like a joke, then I reckon they’re the ones who deserve to live. Besides, we’re talking about people who are addicted to stuff like wars, so when there’s no-one left to wage war on, they will just start on each other – so its a win-win situation for the common man. And even if they dont tear each other to bits for food, what the hell kind of earth would they be left with anyway after they come-a-crawling out of their mountain bolt hole?

    The moral of the story is: forgetabbahtit……just go bury your cans of beans in your little hidey holes and other insane stuff, but peddle it somewhere where the people have no brains. Cos this person’s got one – and it has no time for conspiracists.

  71. Me55

    Surely t won’t hit earth or moon, YU55 isn’t on the same plan.

    This said I wonder IF such object (size/mass/shape/content) was to hit earth directly, perpendicular . What would be the kind of damage to expect?

    Also, I guess we have technology to manage this before it hits, right?

  72. Phil

    “If you can’t answer these questions, and I’m supposing no one can, you can’t discount the fact that it could have a catastrophic effect on the planet.”

    Aaron, just because YOU can’t answer these questions doesn’t mean no one can.

    Yes, 2005YU55 is coming pretty close in comparison to other near-earth asteroids. That’s IN COMPARISON — those other asteroids are usually so far away. Compared to the earth and moon, 2005YU55 is still just a speck of dust. Even at its closest it’s only a little closer than the moon. At that distance it’s simply far too tiny to have ANY measurable gravitational influence on us.

    And yes, we’re quite certain of that. Astronomers have been accurately predicting the paths of planets, moons, comets and asteroids ever since Kepler and Newton figured out the math and physics of gravity centuries ago.

    2005 YU55 is giving planetary scientists one of their closest looks at an asteroid in decades, and that’s why they’re excited about it. But that’s it. 2005 YU55 is a scientific curiosity, nothing more. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, then I recommend that you listen to those who do.

  73. I am John, how are you everybody? This article posted at this site is truly nice.

  74. Thx for this post. I would like to post something simular on my personal site. This is good idea so I might use it!

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