Rare Asteroid Flyby Tonight at 12:33 AM

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JPL’s Near Earth Object (NEO) Program has been monitoring an NEO named 2007 TU24 since it was discovered in October of 2007. TU24 will come within 1.4 lunar distances of Earth, which of course you don’t need me to tell you is 334,000 miles. The object itself is approximately 250 meters in diameter and is no threat to Earth. JPL says: “For a brief time the asteroid will be observable in dark and clear skies with amateur telescopes of 3 inch apertures or larger.” Do you know someone with this kind of telescope? Get them on the blower and ask if you can come over and see!

If you don’t have access to that kind of telescope, or if it is cloudy, you can play with an interactive map of the object’s path at the JPL Small-Body Database. You can also check out the many upcoming Near Earth Object Close Approaches and plan your viewings accordingly.

If you have any serious concerns about Earth being obliterated by one of these rogue objects, soothe your fears by bookmarking the Current Impact Risks page so you can keep up with the latest objects hurtling toward us. If you really want to freak yourself out, read all about Asteroid 1950 DA, the potentially earth destroying* object coming at us in the year 2880!!1! Get your emergency kits in order.

*as of 2007, the odds are 0 – 0.33% that the planet will be pulverized.

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