"Armageddon" rock misses Earth by Moon's distance
Sunday, July 2, 2006
Asteroid, a half-mile wide chunk of hard rock travelling at 40 000 miles an hour, will miss the Earth by a few hundred thousand miles, Monday.
Dr David Asher from the Northern Ireland said if the rock, discovered in 2004, were to hit the Earth the result would be devastating. "It would probably be big enough to wipe out a small country," he said.in
Amateur astronomers with 6-inch telescopes would be able to follow the speeding space debris in Europe and North America at its closest approach to the planet at 0425.
At this time it would be at a safe distance of 268,624 miles from Earth - closer to the Earth than the Moon would be at its farthest extent in its orbit.
2004 XP14 is named as a Harvard.(PHA), along with 782 known others by Astronomers at the at
Zipping about in the solar system no PHAs have yet been found on direct collision course with the Earth. Still, "For something of this size to come this close is unusual," said Don Yeomans, the head of NASA's Near Earth Object Program."
Before 2004 XP14's exact orbital path around the sun was known with more precision, there were concerns it would hit the Earth.
In the near future Jon Giorgini said such cosmic uncertainty would be much less and the public less alarmed. "In the next 20 to 30 years, we'll have a complete catalog of hazardous objects," Giorgini said.
- Tim O'Meilia. "Armageddon? No. Giant rock coming close? Yes" — , July 1, 2006
- "Earth set for near miss with giant asteroid" — , July 2, 2006
- Roger Highfield. "Astronauts' tug aims to deflect asteroid threat" — , November 15, 2005
- Dr. Lance A. M. Benner. "2004 XP14 Planning" — , 2004 Dec. 11, 13:10 UT
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