Earth is welcoming an extraterrestrial visitor on Wednesday April 19, 2017 — an asteroid that hasn't swung by in 400 years as big as the Rock of Gibraltar, asteroid 2014 JO25 is coming so close that its visit should be visible even to small telescopes.
The upcoming flyby is the closest a large asteroid has come to Earth since Toutatis, (See picture below from NASA) a 3.5-mile-wide asteroid, passed within four lunar distances of Earth in September 2004. Another comparable flyby won't happen until 2027, when 1999 AN10, a half-mile-wide asteroid, is scheduled to whiz by Earth at a distance of a 236,000 miles. But NASA
NASA picture of 2014 JO25
doesn’t tell you that there are smaller objects that could cause massive destruction they cannot detect.
But no need to panic, NASA says.
"Although there is absolutely no chance that this asteroid will collide with our planet, this will be a very close approach for an asteroid of this size," the space agency says in a statement.
At its closest approach, which should occur around midday ET Wednesday, the asteroid will be a little over a million miles away — 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the moon.
Goldstone Mojave Desert images of the asteroid as it moves through space.
Though NASA says that distance is comfortable enough to ensure there will be no collision, it is nevertheless classified as a "potentially hazardous asteroid" due to the way its orbit intersects Earth's.
The Bible says the last days will be like the Days of Noah. And in that day an asteroid/comet struck the earth and released the fountains of the deep triggering the volcanic upheaval and flood. The Bible says in the Tribulation Period stars will fall from heaven. Stars do not fall, meteorites do.
“ 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
Congress directed NASA in 1994 to find at least 90 percent of potentially hazardous NearEarthObjects larger than 0.62 miles (1 kilometer) in diameter, which NASA fulfilled in 2010. Congress also asked NASA in 2005 to find at least 90 percent of potentially hazardous NEOs that are 460 feet (140 meters) in size or larger. That's supposed to be finished by 2020. And this could be too late. NASA created a Planetary Defense Coordination Office in 2014 — a year after Chelyabinsk — to better coordinate its efforts, in response to an Office of the Inspector General report. Other space agencies such as the European Space Agency also have their own offices, and the different nations regularly collaborate with each other.
NASA works with several sky surveys to maintain a list of potentially hazardous objects. These include the Catalina Sky Survey (University of Arizona), Pan-STARRS (University of Hawaii), Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research or LINEAR (Massachussetts Institute of Technology) and Spacewatch (University of Arizona). These observatories are constantly upgrading their capabilities to try to catch fainter asteroids.
Asteroids are also observed from space by several telescopes, but the one most regularly used for NEO searches is called NEOWISE which spotted this asteroid passing us on Wednesday. It's the new mission of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope, which launched in 2009 and was revived from hibernation in 2013 to search for asteroids. The telescope is expected to keep operating until 2017, when the angle from the sun in its orbit will be too bright to search for asteroids. A follow-up mission called Near Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) has been proposed for 2021, but is competing against five other missions for funding. Mission selection was announced in September 2016.
Some planned missions will take even more daring steps with asteroids. NASA has been working on concepts for an Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) that would have a robot move a small body into the moon's orbit, for astronauts to study. Also: NASA, the European Space Agency and other partners are planning a mission called AIDA, or Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment. The goal is to change the path of a small moon orbiting the asteroid Didymos using a kinetic impactor.
A kinetic impactor (perhaps with a nuclear bomb inside) would deflect the orbit, tugging the asteroid slowly using a spacecraft, redirecting it with solar heat, or blasting it with a laser. That is just one idea. There is ongoing research as to what sort of asteroid deflection technique would be best. The best approach depends on many factors, such as cost, the composition of the asteroid, time to impact and technology maturity. Studies are ongoing in these fields; in 2007, NASA said that non-nuclear kinetic impactors had the most mature technology.
Why will the signs of Christ’s return be seen in the sky in the form of fearful events? Because when Christ returns the world will receive massive destruction from the sky; that is, from space, as he told us in Luke 17:
But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. (Luke 17:29-30)
Cosmic events are the only certain signs of the coming Day of Judgment, because Judgment Day will be caused by events in this solar system. People will die of heart attacks, frightened about the unusual things that will happen in this solar system, “for the heavenly bodies will be shaken”– which are the planets in our solar system, including Earth.
In Matthew 24:29 Jesus described the events of the Day of Judgment, “the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” Most of the world’s population will die from natural events that come upon the whole solar system, which is why the stars will fall and the planets will shake. But before those events of the Day of Judgment, other less catastrophic events will take place that will serve as warning signs of the coming global destruction. In the book of Luke chapter 21 Jesus said:
“There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.” (Luke 21:11).
The Bible tells us that this technology being set up for protection against asteroids and comets will be used against Jesus and the Saints (All Christians, as well as Christians Raptured before the Tribulation Period) will be used against us! And that this will backfire on Antichrist and his legions.