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What if they're wrong.........

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(Reuters) - A huge asteroid will pass closer to Earth than the moon on Tuesday, giving scientists a rare chance for study without having to go through the time and expense of launching a probe, officials said.

 

Earth's close encounter with Asteroid 2005 YU 55 will occur at 6:28 p.m. EST (2328 GMT) on Tuesday, as the space rock sails about 201,000 miles (323,469 km) from the planet.

 

"It is the first time since 1976 that an object of this size has passed this closely to the Earth. It gives us a great -- and rare -- chance to study a near-Earth object like this," astronomer Scott Fisher, a program director with the National Science Foundation, said on Thursday during a Web chat with reporters.

 

The orbit and position of the asteroid, which is about 1,312 feet (400 meters) in diameter, is well known, added senior research scientist Don Yeomans, with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

 

"There is no chance that this object will collide with the Earth or moon," Yeomans said.

 

Thousands of amateur and professional astronomers are expected to track YU 55's approach, which will be visible from the planet's northern hemisphere. It will be too dim to be seen with the naked eye, however, and it will be moving too fast for viewing by the Hubble Space Telescope.

 

"The best time to observe it would be in the early evening on November 8 from the East Coast of the United States," Yeomans said. "It is going to be very faint, even at its closest approach. You will need a decent-sized telescope to be able to actually see the object as it flies by."

 

Scientists suspect YU 55 has been visiting Earth for thousands of years, but because gravitational tugs from the planets occasionally tweak its path, they cannot tell for sure how long the asteroid has been in its present orbit.

 

"These sorts of events have been happening for most of the lifetime of the Earth, about 4.5 billion years," Fisher said.

 

Computer models showing the asteroid's path for the next 100 years show there is no chance it will hit Earth during that time, added Yeomans.

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Well a couple of things I believe it will be close but not hit us [[yet]] I believe that because it is called YU 55 and not FU 55. Now I would say it would be like a billiards shot 10 ball into corner pocket[[black hole]]. Now with the scientist being from California and Marajuana being used rampid like it is in California I would say there is a 1 in 10 chance there was a miscalculation[["I missed it by that much"]] :shock:

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Well a couple of things I believe it will be close but not hit us [[yet]] I believe that because it is called YU 55 and not FU 55. Now I would say it would be like a billiards shot 10 ball into corner pocket[[black hole]]. Now with the scientist being from California and Marajuana being used rampid like it is in California I would say there is a 1 in 10 chance there was a miscalculation[["I missed it by that much"]] :shock:160

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Well a couple of things I believe it will be close but not hit us [[yet]] I believe that because it is called YU 55 and not FU 55. Now I would say it would be like a billiards shot 10 ball into corner pocket[[black hole]]. Now with the scientist being from California and Marajuana being used rampid like it is in California I would say there is a 1 in 10 chance there was a miscalculation[["I missed it by that much"]] :shock:160

 

Tens of thousands of people will die on Tuesday if this asteroid hits. But then again, tens of thousands of people will die on Tuesday if it doesn't, either.

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If it hit, do you think it would mess up the fishing this weekend? I've got a trip planned.

 

Well for the ones they measure in miles, you'd have not only some serious earthquake activity from the impact, but you'd also have a serious shockwave for miles around, moving everything down, vaporized and partially molten material being ejected from the just-formed crater, massive heating up of the local atmosphere, wild fires from the still hot debris falling back to earth, tsunami if a direct ocean impact, other local tsunami from underwater landslides because of the shock of the impact...

 

so... I'd probably say, "yes." Probably to some extent, it would mess up the fishing. Somewhere. ;)

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