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28 June 2006 @ 08:27 pm


(but make sure it doesn't fall down on you...)

According to Astronomy media services, a quote "huge" asteroid will fly past the Earth on the 3rd of July. The asteroid, believed to measure close to a km in diameter (or just over half a mile) is expected to only just miss us, passing slightly shy of the moon's orbit. We may have escaped this time around but one must wonder how many more near misses will it take before we get space smart and work out how to deal with this increasing threat.

This article comes from Dave Reneke ~ Astronomy Media Services

BREAKING NEWS                
Huge Asteroid to fly past Earth July 3

 A large asteroid, measuring about half a mile wide is expected to make its way towards Earth on Monday, July 3. The asteroid will make an exceptionally close approach to the blue planet, passing just beyond the Moon's average distance from Earth.

Astronomers will attempt to make a more accurate assessment of the space rock's shape and size using radar measurements. Current estimates put it at 410 to 920 metres...that's between a quarter mile and just over a half-mile wide.

The asteroid named 2004 XP14 is a member of a class of asteroids known as Apollo, which have Earth crossing orbits. There are now 1,989 known Apollos.

The half a mile wide cosmic rock that will pass Earth in proximity is classified as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" (PNA) by the Minor Planet Centre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There are currently 783 PNAs.

The latest calculations reveal that 2004 XP14 will pass closest to Earth on July 3, passing over the U.S. at around 2.25am . There is no need for concern of a collision as the asteroid's distance from Earth at that moment will be 432,308 km, or just 1.1 times the Moon's average distance from Earth. Spotting 2004 XP14 will be a challenge, as only seasoned observers with moderate-sized telescopes will be able to see the asteroid. 

NASA is spending millions to detect the threat from this and other asteroids.

How deadly are they? Consider this:- A direct hit on an urban area from an object like the one described above could unleash more destruction than Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Asian tsunami and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake combined. The blast would equal 880 million tons of TNT or 65,000 times the power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

In 1998, lawmakers directed NASA to identify by 2008 at least 90 percent of the asteroids more than a kilometre wide that periodically cross Earth's path. That search is more than three quarters complete.

Last year, Congress directed the space agency to come up with options for deflecting potential threats. Ideas include lasers on the moon, spacecraft that ram incoming objects and nuclear weapons.

Source: Space.Com

hypercazhypercaz on June 28th, 2006 06:32 am (UTC)
LOL and I thought Apophis was the gravest of my concerns!


so how are we going to stop armageddon?
ellymelly: loungeellymelly on June 28th, 2006 06:35 am (UTC)
It's like playing dodgeball - only it's kind of bad when you get hit lol. Well, I'm on skype but i have to go now because dinner has just arrived, but i will be back in about half an hour :D
Gwenhwyfar: Smile (icon by Animegirl 29)gwenhwyfar1984 on June 28th, 2006 12:07 pm (UTC)
That's not even what people call a "bullet burn"!! There have been ones that have passed between the Earth and the Moon. This is nothing, lol! Interesting article. Where did you find it?
ellymelly: WTFellymelly on June 28th, 2006 12:13 pm (UTC)
I get sent regular emails from the astronomy society here in australia :D *is somewhat of an astronomer* and every now and then I get ones like, "UH OH" lol - such is astronomy.

I know this asteroid isn't that interesting, but the one entitled, "Apophis" is :D *finds large scary rock to hide behind*

and yes, a stargate geek at Parkes australia got to name it - i met him, stargate fans are everywhere...
Gwenhwyfar: Smile (icon by Animegirl 29)gwenhwyfar1984 on June 28th, 2006 12:26 pm (UTC)
That is so cool! I wish I got news like that. I want to go to school to become an Astronomer.

I guess Stargate fans really are everywhere, lol!
ellymelly: rulersellymelly on June 28th, 2006 12:30 pm (UTC)
There just seems to be something hillariously ironic about being wiped out by a science fiction baddy...

not even the writers dared to go that cliche!
cinnamon_sighscinnamon_sighs on July 3rd, 2006 10:52 pm (UTC)
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God's I love that icon... *Grin*

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