A Giant Asteroid Will Approach Earth on Christmas Eve

Monday, 14 December 2015 - 12:11PM
NASA
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Monday, 14 December 2015 - 12:11PM
A Giant Asteroid Will Approach Earth on Christmas Eve
This holiday season is coming up all asteroids. After the "Spooky" asteroid that made its closest approach on Halloween, we're about to have a close encounter with a Christmas gift from the universe. An unusually huge asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth on Christmas Eve, or December 24 (suspiciously close to the time that Santa is supposed to be making an appearance).

It will not be a "near-miss" with Earth, as the object, called asteroid 163899, will come only 6,700,000 miles above our surface. This is close enough to make NASA's watch list, but not close enough to have any measurable effect on the Earth. It won't even be close enough to see with the naked eye, but will be accessible to professional astronomers or experienced amateurs. 

The asteroid is extremely large, up to 1.25 miles in length. But since it will be at approximately 28 times the distance of the moon during its closest approach, it poses no danger, it's just a nice, benevolent Christmas gift. There have been some false reports that it will cause earthquakes, but NASA says the object won't pose a threat to Earth for at least another two centuries.

Via Gizmodo.
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