A “potentially dangerous asteroid” half a mile long will hit Earth this weekend, giving interested astronomers a chance to see it fly.
The space rock, larger than most skyscrapers in the world, will overflow at dawn on Sunday, November 29.
Due to the relatively close flyby, the asteroid has been identified as a “potentially risky asteroid” called asteroid 2000 WO107, but no impact risk has been identified and its orbital path is well known.
When it crosses the sky on Sunday, it will be about 11 times farther from the earth than the moon and will travel 56,600 miles per hour.
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Astronomer Professor Brad Gibson of Hall, director of the EA Millennial Center for Astrophysics, said the asteroid would be one of the largest coming within ten million miles of Earth this decade.
“Even though it sounds like a lot, if you compare it to the huge size of the amazing size of the solar system, it’s actually a very short distance.”
“However, it raises questions about how the impact of the conflict on Earth will be affected.
“Thankfully, it’s not as close as the impact 5 million years ago to the dinosaurs, but it would be large enough to destroy the size of almost any region of Europe.”
In terms of its size, the asteroid that caused the 1908 Tunguska event in Siberia – where 830 square miles of forest flattened – was one-tenth the size of the asteroid 2000 WO107.
Although the rock will not be visible to the naked eye, amateur astronomers will only be able to spot it using a relatively small eight-inch telescope or larger.
It will look like a slow-moving star and is expected to pass overhead at 5.08am on Sunday morning.
Professor Gibson said: “There is a deep excitement to be felt from asteroids, because every rocky piece comes from the very beginning of our solar system.
“These are basically primitive fossils from the creation of the solar system. When you enter it and examine the various chemical elements and isotopes contained in it, you will get an instant snapshot of what our solar system looked like five billion years ago.”
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Hal University is fortunate enough to own this special ‘Moon Rock’ variety. As part of an immersive 3D experience designed to explore the history of the moon, students will have the opportunity to view two pieces, one inch in diameter and the original part of the moon.
In addition, they bought a piece of the Chelyabinsk meteorite, which became the largest object entering the Earth’s atmosphere since the 1986 Tunguska event.