Asteroid 2005 YY128, which is about 80 meters wide, made a close approach to Earth on February 15, 2023, passing within about 5.5 million kilometers of the planet.
While this may sound like a large distance, it is still considered a “close approach” by astronomers. The asteroid, which was discovered in 2005, is classified as a near-Earth object (NEO) and is being monitored by scientists for any potential future threats to our planet.
The asteroid poses no danger to Earth during this flyby, and astronomers are taking the opportunity to study the space rock and learn more about its properties.
A sizable space rock will make its closest approach to Earth in four centuries on Wednesday evening (Feb. 15), but there’s nothing to fear.
The near-Earth asteroid 2005 YY128 will zoom within 2.8 million miles (4.5 million km) of our planet at 7:46 p.m. EST on Wednesday (0046 GMT on Feb. 16) — closer than it’s gotten to us in more than 400 years, according to EarthSky.org
Still, that’s about 12 times the distance from Earth to the moon, so there’s no chance the asteroid will hit us on this pass, experts stress.
As its name suggests, 2005 YY128 was discovered in 2005, by astronomers at Kitt Peak Observatory in southern Arizona. Over the past 17 years, researchers have mapped its orbit with a high degree of precision.
READ MORE: https://www.space.com/asteroid-2005-yy128-earth-flyby