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2005 YU55 - Close Approach

9 Nov 2011, 12:24 UTC
2005 YU55 - Close Approach
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On November 08, 2011 at 23:28 Universal Time (UT), the Near-Earth asteroid 2005 YU55 passed within 0.85 lunar distances (or 319,000 km or 0.00217 AU) from Earth's surface.Asteroid 2005 YU55 was discovered by Robert McMillan during the Spacewatch survey on December 28, 2005. The 2011 approach is the closest that we know about in advance by an asteroid with an absolute magnitude this bright since 2010 XC15 (H = 21.4) approached within 0.5 lunar distances in 1976 (although astronomers did not know about this flyby at the time), and until 2028, when 2001 WN5 (H = 18.2) will approach within 0.65 lunar distances. The object has been previously observed on April 2010 by Mike Nolan, Ellen Howell and colleagues with the Arecibo radar on April 19-21, 2010 and shown to be a very dark, nearly spherical object 400 meters in diameter with a relatively long rotation period, 18 to 20 hours. Trajectory of Asteroid 2005 YU55 - November 8-9, 2011. Click on the thumbnail to see a bigger version:(Credit: NASA-JPL)We have been able to follow-up this object on November 09.25 remotely from the GRAS Observatory (near Mayhill, NM) through a 0.25-m, f/3.4 reflector + CCD. At the moment of our ...

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