A massive asteroid known as 2014 JO25 will pass within a million miles of Earth on Wednesday.
This asteroid is the largest of its kind to pass this close to Earth since the 2004 passage of asteroid Toutatis, which is three miles in diameter.
The 2014 JO25 asteroid is thought to be at least the size of the Rock of Gibraltar — some 2,000 feet long — and was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona.
We do not know much about this object, except that it is twice as reflective as our own moon and it has an orbit that takes it around the solar system in some 400 years, so don’t miss it this time.
While there is no chance of the asteroid hitting Earth, it is still very interesting to note that observers with small telescopes in dark skies will have an opportunity to see the object. You just need to know when and where to look!
- You will need a dark and clear sky.
- You will need a tree free view of the northeast sky.
- You will need a star chart and a small telescope.
Those using a star chart to track the asteroid should take note, as 2014 JO25 will pass by M64 — the Black-Eye Galaxy — around 11 p.m. Wednesday.
The asteroid, when it is closet to us, will appear as small star and you may get to see it moving in real time!
If you do not have some of the above listed conditions and equipment, there is another way to view this event — log on to Virtual Telescope.
This website hosts live viewing sessions of interesting astronomical events. The feed for 2014 JO25 will begin at noon on Wednesday.
Best of luck in finding this massive asteroid in our Arizona skies!
April skies offer something for everyone! Get your very own Dr. Sky April star chart.
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