06 Nov '11, 2am

Huge asteroid headed for close encounter with Earth - Yahoo! via @yahoosg

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla (Reuters) - A huge asteroid will pass closer to Earth than the moon on Tuesday, giving scientists a rare chance for study without having to go through the time and expense of launching a probe, officials said. Earth's close encounter with Asteroid 2005 YU 55 will occur at 6:28 p.m. EST (10:28 p.m. BT) on Tuesday, as the space rock sails about 201,000 miles (323,469 km) from the planet. "It is the first time since 1976 that an object of this size has passed this closely to the Earth. It gives us a great -- and rare -- chance to study a near-Earth object like this," astronomer Scott Fisher, a program director with the National Science Foundation, said on Friday during a Web chat with reporters. The orbit and position of the asteroid, which is about 1,312 feet (400 meters) in diameter, is well known, added senior research scientist Don Yeomans, with NASA's...

Full article: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/huge-asteroid-headed-close-encou...

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