Huge asteroid set to fly past Earth tonight – here’s how to watch it

It will remain visible with binoculars or a telescope until tomorrow. The best chance for viewing will be from 8 p.m. ET Monday to 1 a.m. ET Tuesday.

Huge asteroid set to fly past Earth tonight – here’s how to watch it

Not every week starts off with a 900m-long asteroid passing close enough to Earth you can spot it with binoculars. But this evening (Monday, January 26) asteroid 2004 BL86 will miss us by 750,000 miles as it hurtles past at 35,000mph.

    • 2004 BL86 made its closest approach to Earth at 4.20pm GMT (11.20am EST) today
    • It will remain visible with binoculars or a telescope until tomorrow
    • The asteroid passed about 3.1 times the distance of Earth to the moon
    • New images suggest the asteroid is 980ft (300 metres) in size
    • Astronomers will be hoping to study it as it passes Earth
    • But novice stargazers can also view it near Jupiter with binoculars
    • Observers in the Americas, Europe, and Africa have the best seats
    • It will appear to move backwards in the night sky relative to other stars
    • This will be the closest approach of an asteroid this size until 2027
    • Nasa says it poses no threat to Earth ‘for the foreseeable future’

Give it another four hours though and you’ll be able to glimpse it moving through the constellation of Hydra to the east-southeast around 8pm. It will be too faint to see with the naked eye but should be visible with a small telescope or binoculars. “Not only did asteroids provide Earth with the building blocks of life and much of its water, but in the future, they will become valuable resources for mineral ores and other vital natural resources,” said Yeomans. We won’t see another asteroid pass this close to Earth until 2027. If the sky is too cloudy to spot the asteroid – or you can’t lay hold of binoculars – you’ll be able to watch a live stream of the passing thanks to Slooh, the live online observatory.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Related Post

Charlie PARIS Hebdo attack: 10 latest developments in manhunt
views 65
PARIS: French security forces swarmed a small industrial town northeast of Paris on Friday in an operation to capture a pair of heavily armed suspects...
Indian dad kills wife and two teenage daughters before hanging himself in U...
views 140
UK: They were an aspirational family who believed in hard work, the importance of education and good manners. In their middle-class suburban neighbour...
Australian police foil terror attack planned for Christmas Day in Melbourne
views 135
Australian police say they have foiled a terror attack planned for Melbourne on Christmas Day. Five men were arrested in early-morning raids on Friday...
Man rescued after 66 days lost at sea
views 64
Louis Jordan, 37, set off just to "catch some fish" – but soon found himself dangerously off course. His worried parents reported him missing on Janua...
‘5500 Twitter accounts down’: Hacking group Anonymous take on I...
views 47
Islamic State sympathizers using social media to spread propaganda and recruit fighters are now drawing an increasing amount of return fire from activ...