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November 1, 2:30-3:30pm PT
NASA scientists will have a unique observing opportunity with asteroid 2005 YU55, as the space rock safely flies past Earth at a distance slightly closer than the moon on Nov. 8, 2011.
At the point of closest approach, the asteroid will be no closer than 201,700 miles (324,600 kilometers). The gravitational influence of the asteroid will have no detectable effect on anything here on Earth, including our planet’s tides or tectonic plates. Although 2005 YU55 is in an orbit that regularly brings it to the vicinity of Earth, the 2011 encounter with Earth is the closest this space rock has come for at least the last 200 years.
During the close flyby, scientists will use the massive 70-meter Deep Space Network antenna to study the asteroid.
A live broadcast and chat from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., will allow viewers to ask questions of scientists with NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office about asteroid YU55, and find out how NASA discovers, tracks and characterizes asteroids and comets.
-- Don Yeomans, manager, NASA's Near-Earth Object Office at JPL
-- Marina Brozovic, scientist, NASA’s Near-Earth Object Office at JPL
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