This image made from radar data taken in April 2010 by the Arecibo Radar Telescope in Puerto Rico and provided by NASA/Cornell/Arecibo shows asteroid 2005 YU55. The asteroid, bigger than an aircraft carrier, will dart between the Earth and moon Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011 - the closest encounter by such a huge rock in 35 years. But scientists say not to worry. It won't hit. (AP Photo/NASA/Cornell/Arecibo)
A massive asteroid roughly the size of an aircraft carrier is barreling towards Earth, experts say, and will arrive November 8.
The wide, round, blacker-than-coal space rock called YU55 measures approximately 1,300-feet in diameter - about four football fields - and will come closer to the Earth than any asteroid of this size since 1976.
But even though YU55 will be the most menacing interloper to come between the Earth and the moon, it's no homewrecker. The carefully monitored asteroid will not hit Earth or the moon, astronomers assure. And it won't mess with gravitational forces, either.
"Through our observations of the object, we know that there is NO chance of it impacting either the Earth or the moon," Scott Fisher, a program director of the NSF's Division of Astronomical Sciences said in an interview with ScienceNow.
At its closest point the asteroid will zoom past the blue planet at a distance of 201,700 miles on Tuesday at 6:28 pm. The average distance between the Earth and the moon is 238,854 miles.
Despite its size, YU55, discovered in 2005, will be difficult to see because of its distance. However, special telescopes are already set up to capture images and gather data from the curious object as it zooms through the neighborhood.
"It gives us a great (and rare) chance to study a near-Earth object like this," Fischer said.
Tuesday won't be the last time YU55, which completes an orbit around the sun nearly every 15 months, invades Earth's personal space. But scientists don't anticipate any potential danger - for at least the next 100 years.
"We know exactly where it is going to be, and we don't have any chance of impact for the following hundred years," Marina Brozovic, a scientist and member of the JPL Goldstone radar team, said.
The asteroid's coordinates for any given time are available at the JPL Solar System Dynamics website, here: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/.
AS: Apa yang boleh disimpulkan, jangan cemas, asteroid tu hanya masuk ke orbit bumi bukan nak hentam bumi. Namun semuanya takdir Allah swt.