A gigantic, spinning, dead black spherical object dubbed YU55 and approximately of the same bulk as a nuclear aircraft carrier is expected to make a close pass by planet Earth on Tuesday night, coming well inside the orbit of the Moon. NEO YU55 imaged by the Arecibo radar telescope. Credit: NASA Looks a bit like that thing from …
because it is difficult to get high resolution at a distance with radio waves.
It's big compared to say, your house but at the distances we're talking about that's not particularly big at all. 860,000 miles is a hell of a long way you know.
Just as well that NASA didn't name it WU55; that would have been asking for trouble on the next pass.
Space knobheads are happy to send a probe millions of miles into space to land on an asteroid . How about launching some sort of probe at that thing and earn you wages.
"darker than charcoal at optical wavelengths"
That's a pity, it would have been quite a show if it were visible.
Thats no sphere!
Its a cylinder!! - (Queue Jeffs WOTW score)
Mines the one with the flu dart gun in it...
The Medium Bang Theory
"the closest approach to date by an object this large that we know about in advance"
So if you read between the lines (and if you talk to those in the know), they actually admit that they don't see everything in advance. There are in fact many things that they only see once they go whizzing by.
In other words, we probably won't see the rock that hits us on the 21st December 2012. :)
a good #shooter would know
that wind affects projectiles...
Please God let it be a scout from a Culture GCV (General Contact Vehicle.) I can't wait for utopia, as long as it's not Special Circumstances that is.
I could do without a visit from GCU (eccentric) Gray Area as well tyvm.
An AI known among its peers as "meatfucker" is not pleasant company.
Oh I don't know
Grey looked like quite the witty thing, when it wasn't inflicting ironic torture on genocidal dictators.
If you haven't killed a million people or so, I don't think you'd have much to worry about. It's just a big floating hyperintelligent London Dungeon. Madame Tussauds might even do an exhibit swap!
We ain't got one
It'll not be an issue for britain, we don't know what an aircraft carrier is.
Yes we do...
We are one, aren't we?
"YU55 poses no threat of an Earth collision over at least the next 100 years."
*... unless of course, a friendly nudge by a piece of junk changes its orbit*. Encryption is safe and uncrackable... *given current technology*. Why oh why do they never circumscribe the risk? It's not hard to do.
I hope that is sarcastic
Space Rock - Size of aircraft carrier and travelling much much much faster.
Space Junk - Size ranging from a small car to really tiny, travelling not very fast.
This would be kind of like watching what happens to a lorry when a fly strikes the windscreen.
supposed to be 2112
Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation
We have assumed control
Good job I have a guitar to help fend off the threat then, isn't it?
Now I'm feeling old :D
Soo many options.....
Im stuck in a decision loop trying to decide if a Rama, Troy Rising, Footfall, 5th Element, Smallville or Star Wars commentardly comment is best.
Rama - definitely Rama
Rama - definitely Rama
Just stumbled across/over this sentence, readable not...
"The space agency's current assessment of its orbit is that it is such as to regularly bring YU55 close to Earth: however it is won't crash into the mother planet this century at least...."
So are you telling me that.....
...it lights up black, on a black background......What is this, some kind of galactic.......
some others have already said...how do they KNOW its just a meteor? I'd say this is first strike - some super planet killer weapon - probably cos one of our early probes went and crashed into one of their planets...maybe even killed a few hundred people or smashed a bio-dome
'hi, we're from earth, heres a copy of some jazz music' - WTF? ;-)
or they are sick of all the junk we're emitting in RF - its playing havok with their planet-to-planet comms....finally their uber-civilisation can watch 'Planet A94VF's got talent'
Nah, if we'd pissed off the Dwellers it would have been travelling much closer to light speed, and they can shoot straight.
Proof of intelligent aliens!!!!!!!
That picture is proof of intelligent alien life! That thing is clearly built out of Lego.
SO then we need to be on the lookout for an alien wizard, who possibly resides in independence hall, playing with LEGO. Its the only explanation which makes sense here...
Its not Lego
Hello, Mr Zorgs office....
Hope some developer didn't confuse units again. You know it happened, a billion dollar mistake :)
@AC, "Dear Nasa"
Think about how long it takes to get those probes authorised, funded, built, tested and ready to go. This rock (assuming it is!) was spotted in 2005, which coincidentally happens to be the same year that ESA's ExoMars rover was approved. ExoMars is scheduled to launch in 2018. Go figure.
Maybe I'm being a bit dense here, but isn't this the perfect opportunity to land a
'probe' in this thing and have it collect and transmit data as it circles the Universe?
It's going too fast, we can't get a probe up to sufficeint speed to soft land on it without years in space doing gravity assists round massive planets like the Voyager probes did. i.e. catching a lift on a passing space rock is pointless as you have to be able to go that fast anyway.
OTOH, I guess we could have put something up to get splatted like a fly as it wizzed by.
a) how long do you think it would take to build the probe and it's launch vehicle and actually work out how to land the thing on the asteroid thingy? It's not like parking a car you know.
b) "Circles the universe". If this thing was circling the universe, which it isn't, how long do you think that would take? IOW what's the point?
It's the end of the world. Type YU55 into wingdings font and see what I mean.
Jews - Christians - filing cabinets ???
Better (for all you 9/11 conspi^H^H^H^H truth seekers) is to change NYC into both webdings and wingdings
Well, if the radars can see it,
at least it isn't a negashpere. If it was a negasphere we'd all be DOOMED! DOOMED I tell you! DOOMED!
rendezvous with rama
nobody read that??
Rama was cylindrical, this one's more like a golf ball...
It's quiet. Too quiet...
Maybe the image isn't low resolution, it just that all the faces have been pixelated out.... I knew there was a good reason for having a trenching tool in the back of my car.
Aiee! To the bunker!
This is the scout
For the Hyperspace Bypass. I, for one, welcome our new Vogon overlords. Can I interest anyone in some poetry?
Somebody call Will Smith!!
Because that looks like the alien mothership from Independece Day!!
I'm getting out my telegraph and . Reg readers may want to evacuate all major cities and Tivo enough TV to keep yourselves entertained when the aliens mess up our cable reception.
What's with the heavens these days? First, Bruce Willis saves us from comet Elenin (Don't try to tell me it wasn't Bruce!) and now we get the evil resource-hungry alien strip-miners coming after us? Talk about a bad month!!!
It is a radar image of the object so why does it look like it is eclipsed? Furthermore, as far away as it is right now what shadow could be overlaying it?
Looks like we're gonna have a new moon soon! I shall call her....Linda.....
Opens up interesting images that comment....
How would you know when she was mooning...
Because...She's Black....And...Space is black.......
frog blast the vent core!
see ya starside!
Rumor tonight in US ..
two sources .. one in DC and one in military saying Vandenberg AFB boards are lit up ready to launch an Atlas (Centaur) V at this thing tonight or early morning toward this rock .. either a probe or even a warhead to experiment with defection possibilities
All together now...
Calling Captain Harlock! Calling Captain Harlock!
The Mazone have sent another pennant to Earth!
Quick! Everyone cut down all the trees and kill all the ladies with green hair as they might be Mazone soldiers!
Well maybe we'll finally be free of all those *insert particular deity(ies) of choice here*-bothering loonies after all, and the rest of us can actually get on with living...
- Analysis Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
- Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
- OK, we get the message, Microsoft: Windows Defender splats 1000s of WinXP, Server 2k3 PCs
- Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
- NASA finds first Earth-sized planet in a habitable zone around star