Need a reason to be excited on another dull Tuesday morning? This 1,300-foot asteroid won't hit Earth for the next 100 years. That means our planet has at least 5,200 more Tuesday mornings to pursue exciting new hobbies!
On April 19, this near-Earth asteroid - 2005 YU55 - was spotted by the Arecibo Radar Telescope in Puerto Rico. This 1,300-foot (400-meter) rock is cruising through space approximately 1.5 million miles away. According to Steve Chesley of Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Near-Earth Object Program Office:
At one time we had classified 2005 YU55 as a potential threat [...] Prior to the Arecibo radar passes on April 19 through 21, we had eliminated almost all upcoming Earth flybys as possibilities of impact. But there were a few that had a low remaining probability of impact. After incorporating the data from Arecibo, we were able to rule impacts out entirely for the next 100 years.
For those of you who require constant reassurance that our planet won't be smashed to gravel by some errant space boulder, feel free to check the Near-Earth Object Program's homepage. They have a list of 1,000+ potential hazardous asteroids, so you'll have plenty of reasons to shake your first angrily at the night sky.
Consider this your carpe diem factoid of the day. Ask out that barista. Put your POG collection on eBay. Macramé some denim cut-offs. Butcher the living crap out of the below song at karaoke. After all, 2005 YU55 could flatten your patio a century from now. You don't want to miss a thing.
[via NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory]