Saturday, July 21, 2012

2002 AM31 Asteroid nearly a mile wide will sail past Earth this Sunday

An asteroid nearly a mile wide will hurtle past Earth on Sunday July 22.

The asteroid is estimated to be 2,000 to 4,500ft wide, and qualifies as a 'near Earth object'.

NEA (near-Earth asteroid) 2002 AM31 is described as 'the size of a city block'.

Astronomers say not to panic - 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.

Astronomy magazine's Bob Berman says, ‘Near Earth objects are no longer treasures only for the paranoid, or for those who secretly and strangely are rooting for an early apocalypse.

'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.

'In other words, these are important entities. Not to mention, there’s always that exciting little hint of danger.’ Read More