Hidden Nook

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005



Asteroid Zipping Past Earth


[Media Source*]

(Universe Today) But maybe it's not so bad. Consider this: On April 13th--Friday the 13th--2029, millions of people are going to go outside, look up and marvel at their good luck. A point of light will be gliding across the sky, faster than many satellites, brighter than most stars.

What's so lucky about that? It's asteroid 2004 MN4 ... not hitting Earth.


This was the asteroid that was given a 1/60 of collision with Earth, causing a hole the size of Texas and if hitting the ocean, devastating Tsunami's throughout the region. Fortunately this asteroid will miss Earth by 18,600 miles--which for astronomical terms is "very close."

On April 13, 2029, asteroid 2004 MN4 will fly past Earth only 18,600 miles (30,000 km) above the ground. For comparison, geosynchronous satellites orbit at 22,300 miles (36,000 km). "At closest approach, the asteroid will shine like a 3rd magnitude star, visible to the unaided eye from Africa, Europe and Asia--even through city lights," says Jon Giorgini of JPL. This is rare. "Close approaches by objects as large as 2004 MN4 are currently thought to occur at 1000-year intervals, on average."

Many scientists are already planning on scanning it's surface via radar in 2013 in order to project it's future orbit for well over the next 50 years. Although some doomsday theories from some newspapers have surfaced claiming the satellite will "swing around" and hit Earth in 2035, many scientists have disproved this thought. One thing is certain--in 2029 many viewers on Earth are going to get a spectacular view of an object shooting across the sky.



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By Darnell Clayton • 12:27 AM • Email Post • •

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