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Space Science

NASA Snaps New Photo of Incoming Asteroid 135

astroengine writes "Wider than an aircraft carrier and darker than coal, asteroid 2005 YU55 is soaring at over 11 miles a second straight towards Earth and moon on its latest path through the inner solar system. This new radar image was acquired Nov. 7 by the 70-meter radio telescope at NASA's Deep Space Network in Goldstone, Calif., and shows the approaching space rock in unprecedented detail." Phil Plait has posted some information from NASA about just how they're doing the tricky job of tracking the asteroid.
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NASA Snaps New Photo of Incoming Asteroid

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  • That's no asteroid. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DontBlameCanada ( 1325547 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @11:34AM (#37985520)

    It's a space station.

  • Re:Wow (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2011 @02:17PM (#37987924)

    Probably, but this wouldn't be within arm's length.

    The Earth has a diameter of about 12,756 km. A human face (from tip of nose to back of head) is about 8 inches. (Yes, I actually measured mine.) The asteroid will pass no closer than 324,600km from the Earth. This gives us the equivalent "bullet distance to face" distance of 203.5 inches, or nearly 17 feet. If that's "arm's length", you have some very long arms! Remember, space is big. Mindbogglingly big. (Insert Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy quote here.)

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