News is breaking that a newly discovered asteroid named 2015YB will be narrowly skimming past Earth at 0.2LD (lunar distance) within the next day (December 18, 2015).
Asteroid 2015 YB was discovered only 2 days ago, and has been rated at a condition code of “9” by professionals , which unfortunately is the greatest on a scale which normally only sees a few nines per year.
The distance of 0.2 LD (lunar distance) means that the Asteroid should pass about 40,000 miles from Earth, or roughly 20% of the distance between the Earth and the moon.
Another way to say it is: The asteroid will pass between the Earth and the moon at a distance of about 40,000 miles / 64,000 km.
[UPDATE 900pm CT , December 18, 2015]
The size of the Near Earth Object (NEO) is being reported to be approximately 60 feet / 18 meters across, and will pass at somewhere around 2am ET (eastern). This information may be subject to change at a moments notice as more information becomes available.
Information from JPL / NASA : http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=2015%20YB&orb=1
|Orbital Elements at Epoch 2457372.5 (2015-Dec-16.0) TDB
Reference: JPL 1 (heliocentric ecliptic J2000)
|Orbit Determination Parameters
Full main stream media report on this new Asteroid here:
It is worthy to note, not too long ago we had another short warning for an Earth skimming asteroid…. that Asteroid was 2012 DA14… and on the same day that 2012 DA14 passed by Earth, a giant meteor came down in Russia.
The officials at the time (2013) said that the meteor in Russia was not related to the close 0.1 – 0.2LD pass by of 2012 DA14… but I think we all know they denied the relation because they had said publicly that 2012 DA14 would not hit or cause any damage…
Then Russia got hit.
Obviously professionals were 100% wrong to say a full year ahead of time that “nothing” would happen at that close of a distance… now we know better.
Keep watch for increased meteor fireball activity, upper atmosphere explosions, and possible (actual) meteor impacts on a small scale.
Just like Russia in 2013, the full Asteroid might pass by, but the other debris traveling with the Asteroid could impact, and cause serious damage.
Don’t worry too hard on this, but keep watch for increased activity in the skies over the next few days for sure!