Sunday, October 21, 2012

Meteors are generated when debris enters

Meteors are generated when debris enters and burns up in Earth’s atmosphere. Some astronomers have reported that meteor swarms correspond closely to the orbits of known comets. Meteor showers are not threatening to the Earth because the comet’s tail usually doesn’t hold large objects. On December 28, 2005, a potentially hazardous asteroid was discovered by Robert S. McMillan and named 2005 YU55. It is approximately 400 m (1,312 feet) in diameter and caused concern for NASA.

On November 8, 2011, YU55 passed by Earth at a lunar distance of 324,900 kilometers (201,883 miles). It was the closest pass by a large asteroid since 1976. Another object this size in not predicted to come this close to Earth until 2028. After Comet Elenin started to gain attention, people began to connect it with 2005 YU55 because of the date November 9, 2011 (11/9/11). On this date, the tail of Elenin was predicted to be the closest to Earth, along with 2005 YU55. This has caused some people to speculate that a collision between the two objects was possible.

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