Monday, July 23, 2012

Asteroid as big as a 'city block' - Flying by ( 2002 AM3)

The asteroid is estimated to be 2,000 to 4,500 feet wide, and qualifies as a 'near Earth object'. NEA (near-Earth asteroid) 2002 AM31 is described as 'the size of a city block', the 'Daily Mail' reported.
It will pass through space 14 times further from Earth than the Moon.The space rock will be tracked live by cameras on Earth and in space.
"The entire astronomical community has reversed its thinking about them over the past few decades. Instead of living on an 'island Earth' with little or no connection with other celestial objects, we now feel that collisions with comets or asteroids change the evolution of our biosphere, and maybe even seeded our world with the amino acids that started life long ago," Astronomy magazine's Bob Berman said.
The Slooh website will stream the event online. "Near-Earth asteroid 153958 (2003 AM31) represents 1 of approximately 9,000 whizzing past Earth at any given moment, and we wanted to highlight this one as it's only 13.7 lunar distances from Earth - similar to near-Earth asteroid LZ1 which zoomed past us unexpectedly mid-June," Patrick Paolucci, President at Slooh website was quoted by the paper as saying.
he asteroid, known as 2002 AM31 was discovered 10 years ago by Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR). It is a fairly large near-Earth asteroid — about 3,000 feet wide — and will come within about 3.2 million miles of Earth, or roughly 14 times the Earth-moon distance. Because of its size and distance, the object is classified as “potentially hazardous,” though it has zero chance of hitting Earth

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