A space rock that could be taller than the tallest skyscraper on Earth is set to whip by our planet this week.
The object, technically classified as Asteroid 2017 YE5, is thought to be a comet that’s gone extinct, meaning it’s probably dried up and no longer has a distinct tail.
It will come within 3.7 million miles (6 million kilometers) of Earth on Thursday, which is over 15 times the distance to the moon. This is the closest pass it will make between now and at least 2189 and the closest it’s come since at least 1908, according to NASA.
That’s also definitely a large enough distance that we shouldn’t worry about the possibility of any kind of or the moon, but 2017 YE5 is still considered a “potentially hazardous” asteroid due to its size.
NASA radar observations estimate the former comet could be up to 860 meters in diameter, or more than 2,800 feet. For comparison, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai stands at 2,717 feet.
Lots of asteroids zip safely by Earth every week, than this one. But 2017 YE5 is likely one of the five largest objects to come within around 16 lunar distances over the past year. As such, some of our bigger telescopes, like the Arecibo dish in Puerto Rico, may be able to get a glimpse of it this week. Stay tuned…
Visit our NEW STORE www.alien-ufo-sightings.com/store
Join our list
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.
More from Astronomy
Is anybody home? Astronomers have pinpointed two planets orbiting a nearby star that meet pretty much every requirement for supporting …
In Christopher Nolan’s epic 2014 science fiction film Interstellar, a rogue splinter group of scientists constituting the collapsed remnants of NASA …
For 17 years, astronomers at a well-known Australian radio telescope known as "The Dish" had not been able to figure out the …