Skip to comments.Recently Discovered Near-Earth Asteroid Makes Record-breaking Approach to Earth
Posted on 03/17/2004 10:05:44 PM PST by BenLurkin
A small near-Earth asteroid (NEA), discovered Monday night by the NASA-funded LINEAR asteroid survey, will make the closest approach to Earth ever recorded. There is no danger of a collision with the Earth during this encounter.
The object, designated 2004 FH, is roughly 30 meters (100 feet) in diameter and will pass just 43,000 km (26,500 miles, or about 3.4 Earth diameters) above the Earth's surface on March 18th at 5:08 PM EST (2:08 PM PST, 22:08 UTC). (Close approach details here).
On average, objects about the size of 2004 FH pass within this distance roughly once every two years, but most of these small objects pass by undetected. This particular close approach is unusual only in the sense that scientists know about it. The fact that an object as small as asteroid 2004 FH has been discovered now is mostly a matter of perseverance by the LINEAR team, who are funded by NASA to search for larger kilometer-sized NEAs, but also routinely detect much smaller objects.
Asteroid 2004 FH's point of closest approach with the Earth will be over the South Atlantic Ocean. Using a good pair of binoculars, the object will be bright enough to be seen during this close approach from areas of Europe, Asia and most of the Southern Hemisphere.
Scientists look forward to the flyby as it will provide them an unprecedented opportunity to study a small NEA asteroid up close.
"The orbit of asteroid 2004 FH (shown in blue) is almost entirely within the Earth orbit. The locations of the asteroid and Earth are indistinguishable at this scale"
I should add the latest to this ...
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest -- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)
It could have vaporized France, but for the Grace of the Lord.
Women and minorities....
Can they steer it toward France?
Could nuclear weapons (H-bombs) be used in the near future, assuming advanced warning of an impending direct hit, in some way as a defense against incomming large astroids?
Oh man, that's what you call "pucker factor."
I think the dinosaurs would beg to differ.
You might want to add this to your links list about "Entering Uncharted Waters"...
"The contiguous United States experienced its 16th coolest summer (June-August) on record and seventh coolest August, according to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, N.C.
While much of the West, including Alaska, remained warmer than average, the majority of the nation had a cool summer, with Minnesota having its coldest August on record."
The danger would be that of changing a rifle firing a single bullet into a shotgun firing innumerable pellets! Ouch!!!
It has been suggested that a blast to the side might change the trajectory sufficiently to cause a miss. Alternatively, if your H-Bomb were sufficiently powerful to completely vaporize the asteroid... but how many megatons would that take?
I believe there is little doubt we could save ourselves (even with current technology) if the asteroid was spotted early enough that we had sufficient lead time, but what if we had only weeks, or days, or even hours?
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