It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
A week from now, on November 8, the aircraft carrier-sized asteroid 2005 YU55 will zip past Earth at a safe distance. But Purdue University researchers recently conducted a study seeking to determine what would happen if this space rock were to strike our planet, and the results are not encouraging.
The primary result of such a collision would be a 4,000-megaton blast, researchers say. Secondary results may include earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.0 or upwards, as well as 70-foot (21-meter) tsunamis, if the space rock were to crash in the ocean.
This study was conducted in the wake of an announcement made by NASA astronomers last week, saying that 2005 YU55 will pass within 201,000 miles (323,478 kilometers) of Earth's surface on November 8. This path will take the asteroid between our planet and the Moon.
Purdue University distinguished professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences, physics, and aerospace engineering Jay Melosh says the the orbit and trajectory the asteroid flies on at this point pose no danger to us or the planet.
“What is unique about this asteroid flyby is that we were aware of it well in advance. Before about 1980 we wouldn’t know about an asteroid of this size until it was already making a close pass, but now it is unlikely that such an asteroid will approach the Earth without our knowledge,” Melosh adds.
This particular asteroid was discovered back in 2005 by the Spacewatch program. At this time, the NASA Near Earth Object (NEO) program is boasting the discovery of more than 90 percent of all NEO that are larger than 6/10ths of a mile.
In order to assess what would happen if 2005 YU55 struck our planet, the Purdue experts used an asteroid impact effects calculator called “Impact: Earth!” What this tool does if give users a fairly good idea of the amount of potential damage a comet or asteroid would do.