Monday, November 7, 2011

Want to see an asteroid?

Dear Madame L,

I heard an asteroid is going to be passing close to Earth soon. How can I see it?



Dear Star-Gazer,

Madame L has also heard about Asteroid 2005 YU55, which will be passing within 200,000 miles of Earth on Tuesday the 8th. 

Unfortunately, you won't be able to see it without a telescope, according to It will be close to Earth and best viewed on the East coast around 6:30 Eastern time. (If you live on the West coast, like Madame L, you may have much less of a chance to see it, even if it's not obscured by clouds.

Madame L is planning to take part in an online chat with Thomas Statler (National Science Foundation expert on near-Earth asteroids) on  The chat will start at 1:30 pm, Eastern time, and you can submit questions any time before that.

Asteroid 2005 YU55, in an image made from radar data taken by the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico. (NASA/Cornell/Arecibo - Associated Press)

You can also keep updated on the asteroid's flight on the Jet Propulsion Lab's "Asteroid Watch" website. 

Happy viewing! Please let Madame L know, Dear Star-Gazing Readers, if you have any luck seeing this extraterrestrial wonder.

Also Looking at the Sky,

Madame L

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