Giant Asteroid to Buzz Earth Tuesday; When and How to See It
Space rock as big as 2005 YU55 hasn't gotten so close since 1976.
Dubbed 2005 YU55, the asteroid's closest approach to our planet will occur at 6:28 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
That's when the 1,300-foot-wide (400-meter-wide), roughly spherical space rock will fly within about 197,000 miles (317,000 kilometers)—closer than the moon's orbit.
The last time an asteroid this big approached so close to Earth was in 1976. (Read about a school bus-size asteroid that buzzed Earth in June.)
This asteroid will be so close, in fact, that amateur astronomers—especially those in North America and western Europe—will be able to see it with moderately powerful telescopes.
The asteroid will streak eastward across several constellations, from Aquila to Pegasus, in just under ten hours.
"If you have a mirror telescope, you'll need a mirror that's bigger