Asteroid to fly past Earth on April 19

NASA handout image of protoplanet Vesta

2014-JO25 will come within 1.8 million kilometers of Earth. File

The mile-wide mega asteroid, also known as "the rock", passed by the planet on April 19, and came close at over one million miles (1.8 million kilometers). Still, for an asteroid of this size, the approach is a very close one (2014 JO25 is a relatively large asteroid, 650 metres in size).

The asteroid 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. We'll be safe here on the ground, but it is also a pretty close shave - scientists call it "among the strongest asteroid radar targets of the year". You might be in luck - if a "potentially hazardous" asteroid strikes the Earth during its flyby, expected on Wednesday afternoon.

Asteroid 2014 JO25 has been found to be twice more reflective than the moon.

'We know the time that the object is going to be closest within seconds, and the distance is known within hundreds of kilometres, ' said Davide Farnocchia, a mathematician at NASA's near-Earth object programme.

At 8:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, the asteroid came in close contact with Earth - although it was still about 1.1 million miles away (over four times the distances between our planet and the moon).

According to Sky and Telescope, the asteroid will cover half the sky in under 30 minutes during early evening hours on April 19 and it'll be fast enough to see it fly across the field of view in real time. It will pass closest to Earth after having looped around the Sun. As a matter of fact, it can be observed using small optical telescopes for a day or two.

A whopping 2,000ft-wide asteroid is on course to hurtle past Earth.

The astronomical event taking place on April 19 will provide astronomers and researchers ample opportunity to witness and analyse as much as they want about the space rock.

The pass is the closest heavenly encounter since asteroid Toutatis, a 3.1-mile space rock, flew by 13 years ago. The comet, which was named PanSTARRS will be visible in the dawn sky for spectators with binoculars or small telescopes.

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