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2017-04-06. Asteroid to Fly Safely Past Earth on April 19.

posted Apr 17, 2017, 11:19 AM by Alan Gould
By Jet Propulsion Laboratory News. For GSS A Changing Cosmos chapter 1. Excerpt:  A relatively large near-Earth asteroid discovered nearly three years ago will fly safely past Earth on April 19 at a distance of about 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers), or about 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the moon. Although there is no possibility for the asteroid to collide with our planet, this will be a very close approach for an asteroid of this size. The asteroid, known as 2014 JO25, was discovered in May 2014 by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona -- a project of NASA's NEO Observations Program in collaboration with the University of Arizona. (An NEO is a near-Earth object). Contemporary measurements by NASA's NEOWISE mission indicate that the asteroid is roughly 2,000 feet (650 meters) in size, and that its surface is about twice as reflective as that of the moon. ...Small asteroids pass within this distance of Earth several times each week, but this upcoming close approach is the closest by any known asteroid of this size, or larger, since asteroid Toutatis , a 3.1-mile (five-kilometer) asteroid, which approached within about four lunar distances in September 2004. The next known encounter of an asteroid of comparable size will occur in 2027 when the half-mile-wide (800-meter-wide) asteroid 1999 AN10 will fly by at one lunar distance, about 236,000 miles (380,000 kilometers). ...The encounter on April 19 is the closest this asteroid has come to Earth for at least the last 400 years and will be its closest approach for at least the next 500 years....  https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6807  See also https://echo.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroids/2014JO25/2014JO25_planning.html and http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/see-a-potentially-hazardous-asteroid-from-your-backyard/