An asteroid named 2014 JO25 will safely pass by Earth on April 19 according to NASA. Experts say that it poses no threat to our planet and that people with small telescopes would be able to view it as the asteroid hurls across the stars.
In a statement, NASA said that “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,”
Measurements provided by NASA’s NEOWISE space probe places the size of the asteroid at about 2,000 feet (650 meters) or about the length of six football fields.
NASA indicates that the closest the asteroid will be from Earth would be about 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers), or about 4.6 times the distance of the Earth from the moon.
This would be the closest of any known asteroid of this size to pass by Earth in 13 years. The last one was asteroid Toutatis, a 3.1 mile (five kilometer) asteroid which passed the Earth back in September 2004. The next asteroid encounter of comparable size after 2014 JO25 would happen in 2027.
NASA said that “The asteroid will approach Earth from the direction of the sun and will become visible in the night sky after April 19.”
NASA indicated that the asteroid has a reflective surface which may help make it more visible to those with a telescope. However, for those without a telescope, the passing asteroid would be streamed online.
During the same time, NASA said that the comet PanSTARRS (C/2015 ER61) will make its closest approach to Earth at 109 million miles (175 million kilometers). According to NASA, the comet would be visible in the dawn sky with a binoculars or a small telescope as the comet has brightened considerably due to a recent outburst.