Last Updated: Monday, January 26, 2015

Don't get panicked as Asteroid passes near Earth today

Is there any threat to Earth as Asteroid 2004 BL86 fly by Earth on January 26, 2015? You will never see this space rock again in your lifetime. Yes, it's once-in-a-lifetime event.

According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Asteroid 2004 BL86 is set to make its closest approach to Earth on Monday, Jan. 26, at a distance of about 745,000 miles from our planet . "That’s more than three times the distance between Earth and the moon, so there is no threat to all of us", The Weather Channel has written.

The flyby of 2004 BL86 will be the closest by any known space rock this large until asteroid 1999 AN10 flies past Earth in 2027. "Monday, January 26 will be the closest asteroid 2004 BL86 will get to Earth for at least the next 200 years," said Don Yeomans, who is retiring as manager of NASA's Near Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

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Asteroid 2004 BL86 was initially discovered on Jan. 30, 2004 by a telescope of the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) survey in White Sands, New Mexico. 

The asteroid is expected to be observable to amateur astronomers with small telescopes and strong binoculars. According to the NASA, due to its orbit around the sun, the asteroid is currently only visible by astronomers with large telescopes who are located in the southern hemisphere. But by Jan. 26, the space rock's changing position will make it visible to those in the northern hemisphere.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech