Friday, December 15, 2017
Three-mile wide ASTEROID on way TOMORROW night
NASA has branded the massive three mile (5km) wide space rock “potentially dangerous” - but unless something goes terribly wrong the asteroid will skim past Earth on the way to another orbit of the Sun.
However, space watchers should note that the rock, called 3200 Phaethon, has triggered the dazzling Geminids meteor shower as parts of it break away.
Asteroid 3200 Phaethon was first discovered in 1983 and a spokesman for Nasa said: “With a diameter of about 5km, Phaethon is the third largest near-Earth asteroid is classified as potentially hazardous.’”
At five kilometres wide, the asteroid is one of the largest ever discovered in our solar system and is approximately half the size of the Chicxulub space rock which helped to wipe out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.
Asteroid 3200 Phaethon Will be at the closest point to Earth at 10pm on Saturday.
The three-mile chink of rock will zoom past Earth at a distance of just 0.069 astronomical units (AU) – one AU is the distance between the Earth and the sun – or 6.4 million miles, and in astronomical terms is a hair’s breadth.
The space rock has been named after the son of the Greek sun god Helios who pulled the Sun across the sky.
Credit to express.co.uk