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NASA Captures Images Of Large Asteroid As It Readies To Pass By Earth

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NASA has gathered images of asteroid 2014 JO25 as it readies to pass relatively close to Earth. NASA has gathered images of asteroid 2014 JO25 as it readies to pass relatively close to Earth. According to a press release by the agency, "The asteroid will fly safely past Earth on April 19 at a distance of about 1.1 million miles." To get the sneak peak of the speeding space rock, NASA, in the early hours of Tuesday, used “its antenna at the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California.” Shantanu Naidu, NASA scientist who led the Goldstone observations, described the asteroid as, “a contact binary structure – two lobes connected by a neck-like region,” and said, “The images show flat facets, concavities and angular topography.” NASA further noted, “The largest of the asteroid’s two lobes is estimated to be 2,000 feet…across.” According to the agency, “The encounter is the closest the object will have come to Earth in 400 years and will be its closest approach for at least the next 500 years.” As such, more efforts for its study and documentation are planned and include, “Additional radar observations…on April 19 20, and 21,” that, “could provide images with even higher resolution.”

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