Huge asteroid to fly by Earth Thursday


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Hum

An asteroid the size of a city block is set to fly by Earth Thursday (June 14), and you may be able to watch it happen live.

The near-Earth asteroid 2012 LZ1, which astronomers think is about 1,650 feet (500 meters) wide, will come within 14 lunar distances of Earth Thursday evening. While there's no danger of an impact on this pass, the huge space rock may come close enough to be caught on camera.

That's what the team running the Slooh Space Camera thinks, anyway. The online skywatching service will train a telescope on the Canary Islands on 2012 LZ1 and stream the footage live, beginning at 8:00 p.m. EDT Thursday (0000 GMT Friday).

2012 LZ1 just popped onto astronomers' radar this week. It was discovered on the night of June 10-11 by Rob McNaught and his colleagues, who were peering through the Uppsala Schmidt telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.

Researchers estimate that the space rock is between 1,000 and 2,300 feet wide (300-700 m). On Thursday evening, it will come within about 3.35 million miles (5.4 million kilometers) of our planet, or roughly 14 times the distance between Earth and the moon.

Because of its size and proximity to Earth, 2012 LZ1 qualifies as a potentially hazardous asteroid. Near-Earth asteroids generally have to be at least 500 feet (150 m) wide and come within 4.65 million miles (7.5 million km) of our planet to be classified as potentially hazardous.

You can watch the asteroidexternal-link.png flyby on Slooh's website, at events.slooh.comexternal-link.png.

post-37120-0-18423600-1339681505.jpg

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Dot Matrix

500 meters is huge? Pffft.

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Hum

Quick -- let's hop a ride. :D

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Nick H.
500 meters is huge? Pffft.

Half a kilometre sounds pretty big to me for a rock hurtling through space.

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Phouchg

It's Batarian terrorists! Bring Down The Sky!

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Detection

As usual it's going to be cloudy in the UK

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Dot Matrix

Half a kilometre sounds pretty big to me for a rock hurtling through space.

Well, it's not small, but certainly not huge either in the grand scheme of things.

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Astra.Xtreme

Half a kilometre sounds pretty big to me for a rock hurtling through space.

Not to mention that it's probably traveling at around 65,000 miles per hour (~25 km/s)

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spacer

500 meters is huge? Pffft.

It's the speed at which it's traveling that makes it "huge". If that asteroid were to hit the Earth, it would probably wipe out a continent.

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Hum

Well, it's not small, but certainly not huge either in the grand scheme of things.

Fine -- let it land on your house. :laugh:

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Crisp

Where did it come from?

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Dot Matrix

Where did it come from?

Space? :p

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f0rk_b0mb

What's up with all these near misses lately? It's like every other week!

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.Neo

Well, it's not small, but certainly not huge either in the grand scheme of things.

At the speed it's traveling 500 meters across is enough to wipe out most of the EU f it were to impact. So yeah, it's pretty important to track those things.

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Dot Matrix

What's up with all these near misses lately? It's like every other week!

Our detection methods are getting better. Really quite something to think about, with all these rocks, how our planet isn't hit more often.

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RichardK

It would be nice if we had some way to tag these asteroids so we can track them. Something already in orbit, not something it would take weeks/months of prep to launch and hope that there isn't a malfunction or delay.

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nominak

Anyone know if this will be visible on the east coast of North America?

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Blaze_Zewi

I wish one of these would land in my back yard so I can start charging people for viewing. :p

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Astra.Xtreme

I wish one of these would land in my back yard so I can start charging people for viewing. :p

Haha, I personally wouldn't want that landing within 2000 miles of me.

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Gaffney

The Aorounga Crater was formed when by an asteroid around 500m and created a crater 17km in diameter so anyone within 300 miles would probably die. Would probably also change weather for a year or two for somewhere the size of the USA. So it would kill a few million depending on the location.

If it hit the UK in the middle it the vast majority of it would be gone, maybe Aberdeen and above or London and below would likely survive.

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Dot Matrix

Anyone know if this will be visible on the east coast of North America?

http://events.slooh.com/

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The Laughing Man

God damn bugs are hurling rocks at us again!

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Farstrider

It's the speed at which it's traveling that makes it "huge". If that asteroid were to hit the Earth, it would probably wipe out a continent.

Quite correct, an impact like this is estimated to have the nominal impact energy of more than 10,000 megatons

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