Metro

Large asteroid will pass close to Earth Tuesday evening

Asteroid 2005 YU55 is pictured in this radar image generated from data in April 2010 by the Arecibo Radar Telescope in Puerto Rico.

REUTERS/NASA/Cornell/Arecibo/Handout

Asteroid 2005 YU55 is pictured in this radar image generated from data in April 2010 by the Arecibo Radar Telescope in Puerto Rico.

A large asteroid will swing close to Earth tomorrow evening, missing it only by 201,700 miles -- a shorter distance from Earth than the moon, NASA said.

The 400-meter 2005 YU55 is the largest asteroid to fly this close to Earth since 1976, NASA said on its website. An asteroid this large isn’t expected to approach the planet again until 2028. It will swing by Earth at 6:28 p.m.

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The gravity from the asteroid will not affect any Earth systems, NASA said, including tides or tectonic plates..

Though the 2005 YU55 is in an orbit that regularly brings it near Earth, Venus and Mars, this is the closest it’s been to this planet for at least 200 years.

To find out more about the asteroid, NASA scientists will bounce radio waves off the asteroid in order to receive highly detailed images of the asteroid’s surface.

Jaime Lutz can be reached at jaime.lutz@globe.com.
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