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Asteroid to make close pass to Earth today

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posted on Mar, 18 2004 @ 10:19 AM
A 100-foot diameter asteroid will pass within 26,500 miles of Earth on Thursday evening, the closest-ever brush on record by a space rock, NASA (news - web sites) astronomers said.

The asteroid's close flyby, first spied late Monday, poses no risk, NASA astronomers stressed.

"It's a guaranteed miss," astronomer Paul Chodas, of the near-Earth object office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said Wednesday.

The asteroid, 2004 FH, was expected to make its closest approach at 5:08 p.m. EST, streaking over the southern Atlantic Ocean. It should be visible through binoculars to stargazers across the southern hemisphere, as well as throughout Asia and Europe, said astronomer Steve Chesley, also of JPL.

Professional astronomers around the globe scrambled Wednesday to prepare for the flyby, which could provide an unprecedented chance to get a close look at the asteroid, he added. The asteroid will pass within the moon's orbit.

Similarly sized asteroids are believed to come as close to Earth on average once every two years, but have always escaped detection.

"The important thing is not that it's happening, but that we detected it," Chesley said.

Astronomers found the asteroid late Monday during a routine survey carried out with a pair of telescopes in New Mexico funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Follow-up observations on Tuesday allowed them to pinpoint its orbit.

"It immediately became clear it would pass very close by the Earth," Chesley said.

Astronomers have not ruled out that the asteroid and our planet could meet again sometime in the future. If the two were to collide, the asteroid likely would disintegrate in the atmosphere, Chesley said.

posted on Mar, 18 2004 @ 10:25 AM
Nice find nyarlathotep, I can't believe this hasn't received more press. Do you have a link?

posted on Mar, 18 2004 @ 10:25 AM
Damn and I was hoping to see it too! All well I dont live in the southern hemisphere or on the east coast

posted on Mar, 18 2004 @ 10:29 AM
Here is a link to the near earth object program:

posted on Mar, 18 2004 @ 10:46 AM
Good find, it should not be a asteroid though. Its not big enough. Has to be atleast a mile.

First let us explain the only diffence between an asteroid and a meteroid: their sizes. Anything smaller than 1 mile across is considered a meteroid. Anything larger is considered an asteroid. Asteroids are mini planets that orbit the Sun between Mars & Jupiter, known as the Asteroid Belt. Scientists believe there are at least 40,000 asteroids in this area. The main ingredient in this flying debris of dust & rocks is 'irridium'. The largest asteroid in the belt is known as Series (600 miles wide) and then Vesta and Polis (350 miles wide)

Sky Gazing

Shooting stars (meteors) are best spotted when the Earth travels close to a swarm of meteroids in its path around the Sun. The most famous meteor shower is called Perseids.. In N. America, these are typically viewed best in August.

As a meteoroid travels close to Earth our atmosphere burns them up and they disappear. However, sometimes a large meteoriod does make it to Earth then it is called a meteorite. The largest one known to man, fell in prehistoric times in Namibia, Africa. It weighs more than 60 tonnes. It is still there. Check out the meteor calender

Threats & Benefits
Some scientists believe that it was an asteroid that destroyed the dinosuar's reign on Earth, 65 million years ago. An average size meteoroid (300 yards across) could cause the equivalent damage of a large scale nuclear war, sending a murderous cloud around the Earth and cover us in complete darkness for a month. This is no reason to fear a devasting hit by an asteroid. An asteroid of that size would only hit Earth every 10,000-15,000 years (statistically speaking). We are now working on predicting and tracking any perilously close asteroids. In the event that one came too close to the Earth we could attempt to deflect, destroy or pulverize the asteroid.

Asteroids and meteors are not necessarily a bad thing. Scientists are also working on how we could mine these floating hunks of rocks for valuable minerals such as nichel and iron. These 'rocks' could also be used as a stepping stone to living in space.

Other Asteroids That Have Hit
Meteor Crater, Arizona, USA
Wolf Creek, Australia
Manicouagan, New Quebec, Canada
Clearwater Lakes, Quebec, Canada

See how Asteroids and Meteoroids differ from Comets.
Check out report from NASA Gamma-Rays from an Asteroid

posted on Mar, 18 2004 @ 10:48 AM

Originally posted by SpittinCobra
Good find, it should not be a asteroid though. Its not big enough. Has to be atleast a mile.

I got this info form the JPL Nearth Earth Object Program site and that is what they called it, an asteroid.

[Edited on 3-18-2004 by nyarlathotep]

posted on Mar, 18 2004 @ 11:02 AM
I realize this, I am saing , they are messing up. An asteriod has to be atleast a mile.

posted on Mar, 18 2004 @ 11:08 AM
(BTW at the time of this reply, this thread had 6 replies and 66 views)

100 ft -> 30.48 Meters
Assuming 20.0 kilometers a second

RESULT: Impact into Zaire in Africa!!

Energy Released = 2 billion MT (MegaTons of TNT)
(Energy needed to Boil Earth's Oceans: 2000 billion MT)
QUAKE!! Magnitude 11.8 (largest recorded Earthquake: 9.5) Crater Diameter: 330.0 km
Crater Depth: 1.7 km

A collision this large occurs roughly once every 950 million years.

Ohh! Look at all the dust in Earth's atmosphere! It's going to block the sunlight and make it very very cold there for many years. There will be another wave of mass extinctions. You humans will not survive.

posted on Mar, 18 2004 @ 11:09 AM
not sure if anyone else is concerned with this, but if an object is going to come relatively close to earth as is this "meteoroid" is it not a little disconcerting that we didn't locate it until Monday? If it had have been on a trajectory toward Earth (and larger of course) there would be nothing we could do to prepare within that time frame...perhaps my concerns are unwarranted, I'm really not sure.


posted on Mar, 21 2004 @ 03:28 PM
Did anyone read the Article in Maxim?

Sept 27th we have a 63.8 chance of an asteroid hitting earth.

Anyone have any info on that?

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