Pull out your telescopes, large asteroid will fly past earth Wednesday

At 3:40 a.m. Central Time on April 19, asteroid 2014 JO25 will be located in front of the constellation Draco the Dragon, as seen here. Illustration by Eddie Irizarry using Stellarium.

EUGENE, Ore. – It’s time to turn your heads to the sky. A relatively large asteroid will fly past Earth on April 19.

Don’t worry, there is no possibility of the asteroid colliding with our planet. It will be about 1.1 million miles away.

The asteroid, known as 2014 JO25, was discovered about three years ago by astronomers at the Catalina Sky Survey near Tuscon, Arizona. Astronomers estimate the asteroid is roughly 2,000 feet in size. They say its surface is about twice as reflective as the moon’s surface.

Scientists at the Oregon Museum of Science and Technology say the asteroid will approach Earth from the direction of the sun. It will become visible in the night sky after April 19.

They say you will be able to see it with small telescopes for one or two nights before it fades in the distance.

“Small asteroids pass within this distance of Earth several times each week, but this upcoming close approach is the closest by any known asteroid of this size, or larger, since asteroid Toutatis, a 3.1-mile (five-kilometer) asteroid, which approached within about four lunar distances in September 2004,” OMSI said in a press release.

The upcoming encounter is the closest this asteroid has come to Earth for at least the last 400 years.

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