NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory describes 2014 JO25 as being approximately 2,000 feet wide, or about 650 meters across, which is a little more than two-fifths of a mile. That’s a pretty large chunk of rock, and NASA says it’s the largest asteroid to come that close to Earth since 2004, with the next similar flyby predicted to occur in 2027 when asteroid 1999 AN10, measured at about a half mile in width, makes an appearance at a distance of 236,000 miles.
This computer-generated animation depicts the flyby of asteroid 2014 JO25. The asteroid will safely fly past Earth on April 19, 2017, at a distance of about 1.1 million miles (1.8 million kilometers), or about 4.6 times the distance between Earth and the moon.
For a few nights following April 19th, amateur astronomers may be able to catch a glimpse of 2014 JO25 thanks to it gaining brightness, though it will still be somewhat difficult to spot. This particular asteroid isn’t expected to come this close to our planet again for another 500 years
The universe never lets us here on Earth go very long before reminding us that we’re really just a random dice roll away from global catastrophe. The next timely reminder will happen on April 19th when asteroid 2014 JO25 will cruise by our planet at a relatively safe distance of roughly 1.1 million miles. That distance, while relatively comfortable, is still pretty close, especially when you realize how large the rock actually is.