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A near miss?


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From the ESA website:

While the eyes of the world were on the Asian tsunami last Christmas, one group of scientists were watching uneasily for another potential natural disaster – the threat of an asteroid impact.

On 19 December 2004 MN4, an asteroid of about 400 m, lost since its discovery six months earlier, was observed again and its orbit was computed. It immediately became clear that the chances that it could hit the Earth during a close encounter in 2029 were unusually high. As the days passed the probability did not decrease and the asteroid became notorious for surpassing all previous records in the Torino and Palermo impact risk scales - scales that measure the risk of an asteroid impact just as the Richter scale quantifies the size of an earthquake.

Only after earlier observations of the object were found and a more accurate trajectory was computed did it become clear that it would not impact the Earth – at least not in 2029. Impacts on later dates, though unlikely, have not been totally ruled out. It is extremely difficult to tell what will happen unless we come up with a better way to track this or other NEOs and if necessary take steps to tackle them.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEML9B8X9DE_index_0.html

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... the trajectory was later anounced as it will come between the Earth and Moon :shock: also visable in the Daytime sky..

James

Aaahhhh, I remember it now.  Should be quite spectacular though isn't it about 30 years away?

Steve :)

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