The European Space Agency has a challenge for you: spot the asteroid 2015 RN35. They’re calling it the “Christmas Asteroid,” and it’s in view from most of Earth from December 15 to December 19, if you have binoculars and know where to look.
The space rock is roughly the size of the Pyramids of Giza, and at 3:12 AM tonight it will be at its closest point to Earth, only 430,000 or so miles from us (almost twice the distance from us Moon), This is as close as the object will get to the planet for the next decade.
How to See the Christmas Asteroid
Unlike the Star of Bethlehem that announced the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Christmas asteroid will not light up the sky. Even though it will fly close enough for us to see the asteroid, you’ll need at least an 11-inch telescope to see it. to help you figure it out (and others Near-earth objects)The European Space Agency’s Near-Earth Object Coordination Center (NEOCC) has released Suite of free tools for asteroid-heads which lets you visualize the orbits of the near-objects of the earth, follow them outlook, and Plan when you can see and photograph them from anywhere on Earth. To quickly see the current location of an object relative to yourself location check out live sky page, You can enter your city and get all the astronomical coordinates for 2015 RN35.
If you’re not going to go to all that trouble, you can still watch the asteroid strike online. european space agency is encouraging amateur astronomers to take photos of the Christmas asteroid and post the pictures on social media using the hashtag #ESAChristmasasteroid,
The mystery and danger of asteroids like 2015 RN35
While astronomers plot the rough orbit of asteroid 2015 RN35 and feel confident that it’It’s not going to hit Earth in the near future, that’s all we know. We don’t know what it’s made of, its exact orbit, how big it really is, whether it’s rotating, or is it really a disguised spaceship and the Space Brothers are finally bringing us home.
The Christmas asteroid is one of hundreds of thousands of medium-sized space rocks that regularly fly by us. Scientists know a lot about large, planet-destroying objects, but smaller objects are not well understood. The hope is that plotting them might reveal when and where they might hit Earth – even a small asteroid hitting the planet could be devastating, even if it didn’t wipe out all life.