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Asteroid With Chance of Hitting Earth in 2029 Now Being Watched 'Very Carefully' (1 in 43 odds)
http://www.space.com ^ | Update, Dec. 25, 9:47 p.m. ET | Robert Roy Britt

Posted on 12/26/2004 8:33:58 PM PST by shadowman99


Original story below

Update, Dec. 25, 9:47 p.m. ET: The risk of an impact by asteroid 2004 MN4 went up slightly on Saturday, Dec. 25. It is now pegged at having a 1-in -45 chance of striking the planet on April 13, 2029. That's up from 1-in-63 late on Dec. 24, and 1-in-300 early on Dec. 24.

Astronomers still stress that it is very likely the risk will be reduced to zero with further observations. And even as it stands with present knowledge, the chances are 97.8 percent the rock will miss Earth.


Update, Dec. 24, 10:19 p.m. ET: An asteroid that has a small chance of hitting Earth in the year 2029 was upgraded to an unprecedented level of risk Friday, Dec. 24. Scientists still stress, however, that further observations will likely show the space rock won't be on a collision course with the planet.

The risk rating for asteroid 2004 MN4 was raised Friday by NASA and a separate group of researchers in Italy.

The asteroid's risk rating a possible impact scenario on April 13, 2029 has now been categorized as a 4 on the Torino Scale. The level 4 rating -- never before issued -- is reserved for "events meriting concern."

The Dec. 24 update from NASA stated:

"2004 MN4 is now being tracked very carefully by many astronomers around the world, and we continue to update our risk analysis for this object. Today's impact monitoring results indicate that the impact probability for April 13, 2029 has risen to about 1.6 percent, which for an object of this size corresponds to a rating of 4 on the ten-point Torino Scale. Nevertheless, the odds against impact are still high, about 60-to-1, meaning that there is a better than 98 percent chance that new data in the coming days, weeks, and months will rule out any possibility of impact in 2029."

With a half-dozen or so other asteroid discoveries dating back to 1997, scientists had announced long odds of an impact -- generating frightening headlines in some cases -- only to announce within hours or days that the impact chances had been reduced to zero by further observations. Experts have said repeatedly that they are concerned about alarming the public before enough data is gathered to project an asteroid's path accurately.

Asteroid 2004 MN4 is an unusual case in that follow-up observations have caused the risk assessment to climb -- from Torino level 2 to 4 -- rather than fall.


An edited version of the 2004 MN4 story originally posted on SPACE.com at 9:58 a.m. ET on Dec. 24:

Scientists said Thursday that a recently discovered asteroid has a chance of hitting Earth in the year 2029, but that further observations would likely rule out the impact scenario.

The asteroid is named 2004 MN4. It was discovered in June and spotted again this month. It is about a quarter mile (400 meters) wide.

That's bigger than the space rock that carved meteor crater in Arizona, and bigger than one that exploded in the air above Siberia in 1908, flattening thousands of square miles of forest. If an asteroid the size of 2004 MN4 hit the Earth, it would do considerable localized or regional damage. It would not cause damage on a global scale.

Scientists stressed, however, that the rock would likely miss the planet.

A statement was released by NASA asteroid experts Don Yeomans, Steve Chesley and Paul Chodas.

"The odds of impact, presently around 1-in-300, are unusual enough to merit special monitoring by astronomers, but should not be of public concern," the scientists said. "These odds are likely to change on a day-to-day basis as new data are received. In all likelihood, the possibility of impact will eventually be eliminated as the asteroid continues to be tracked by astronomers around the world."

The scientists project an asteroid's future travels based on observations of its current orbit around the Sun. On computer models, the future orbits are not lines but rather windows of possibility. The orbit projections for 2004 MN4 on April 13, 2029 cover a wide swath of space that includes the location where Earth will be. Additional observations will allow refined orbit forecasts -- more like a line instead of a window.

The asteroid will be easily observable in coming months, so scientists expect to figure out its path.

Most asteroids circle the Sun in a belt between Mars and Jupiter. But some get gravitationally booted toward the inner solar system.

The 323-day orbit of 2004 MN4 lies mostly within the orbit of Earth. The asteroid approaches the Sun almost as close as the orbit of Venus. It crosses near the Earth's orbit twice on each of its passages about the Sun.

2004 MN4 was discovered on June 19 by Roy Tucker, David Tholen and Fabrizio Bernardi of the NASA-funded University of Hawaii Asteroid Survey. It was rediscovered on Dec. 18 from Australia by Gordon Garradd of the Siding Spring Survey. More than three dozen observations have been made, with more expected to roll in from other observatories this week.

It has been a busy stretch for asteroid scientists. Earlier this week, researchers announced that a small space rock had zoomed past Earth closer than the orbits of some satellites.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: 2029; artbell; asteroid; theskyisfalling
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To: shadowman99

I hope someone programs this into SkyNet since humanity won't be running the planet in 2029!


41 posted on 12/26/2004 9:36:55 PM PST by xrp (Executing assigned posting duties flawlessly -- ZERO mistakes)
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To: clee1
Excellent read, but a little unlikely.

Ever read the Book of Revelation? I don't think the scenario is too unlikely at all. In fact, I think it's a probability. The unlikely part has to do with survivors.

Still, speaking of survival, many of the preparations and disconnected events in the book, Luicifer's Hammer are very plausible. It was one of the main motivators for me getting interested in becoming a U.S. Army Infantry Officer and in getting myself ready to survive should things get that bad. I used many of my skills after Hurricane Andrew.

If you hop on over to the thread known as Threat Matrix, you should see a list of survival items drawn up by a freeper named appalachian dweller. This is an extremely comprehensive list. There is also on that thread a list of useful tips by me.

42 posted on 12/26/2004 9:39:11 PM PST by ExSoldier (Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.)
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To: shadowman99

Those odds are not looking very good...

I prefer the odds i play with when i go skydiving. I read its one in 115,000 chance of going splat.


43 posted on 12/26/2004 9:41:10 PM PST by Andrew LB
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To: LibWhacker
I'll be in my early 70's by then....if I make it that long!
44 posted on 12/26/2004 9:42:33 PM PST by ExSoldier (Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.)
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To: ExSoldier

YES, I read that! Awesome book, and recommend it highly. I read it probably 15 years ago though.


45 posted on 12/26/2004 9:48:40 PM PST by lwoodham
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To: fish hawk
No problem for those of us who will be raptured.

AMEN!!! Here's a site that's one of my favorites:

RAPTURE READY

I'm expecting this wonderful event quite a bit prior to my early 70's!

Say, (speaking as a teacher of world history) did y'all know that both the Aztec and Mayan calendars simply STOP in the year 2012? Now, take away seven years of Tribulation and exactly what year is left? Hmmmmmm. Amen. Come Lord Jesus!

46 posted on 12/26/2004 9:48:58 PM PST by ExSoldier (Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.)
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To: HighWheeler
Wheeler, I think that many folks don't give probabilities due thought.

Consider that the same folks who dismiss 1/43 odds of an asteroid collision as just fine, will play the Lotto with a 1/17 MM chance, and consider those better odds.

47 posted on 12/26/2004 9:49:43 PM PST by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
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To: shadowman99

I would have turned 44 just 4 days prior to this asteroid making its close pass, but those 2nd and 3rd Trumpets in Revelation are rather disheartening when thinking about the possibility of this or any other NEO striking the Earth.


48 posted on 12/26/2004 9:50:52 PM PST by ConservativeTeen
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To: fish hawk

And of course you have no idea when that may occur.


49 posted on 12/26/2004 9:51:34 PM PST by COEXERJ145
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To: shadowman99
Kiss Brazil Goodbye!


50 posted on 12/26/2004 9:52:46 PM PST by TheDon (The Democratic Party is the party of TREASON)
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To: shadowman99
Projectile:
Diameter:
Velocity:
Target:
Rocky Asteroid
380 meters
13 km/s
Earth

This is the 10 km impact crater Bosumtwi in Ghana, Africa.

Energy Released: 1381 Megatons
(All of the world's Nuclear Weapons: 10,000 Megatons)

Earthquake Magnitude 7.7 (largest recorded Earthquake: 9.5)
Crater Diameter: 3.6 km
Crater Depth: 0.4 km
A collision this large occurs roughly once every 12,000 years.

Data source: http://janus.astro.umd.edu/astro/impact/ (new window)

51 posted on 12/26/2004 9:53:54 PM PST by FierceDraka ("I am not going to sit here, and listen to you BAD MOUTH the United States of America! Gentlemen!")
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To: shadowman99
April 13, 2029? The San Francisco Giants are running out of time to win their first World Series.
52 posted on 12/26/2004 9:54:03 PM PST by smonk
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To: COEXERJ145

I will be 75, but I already don't care at 55 , so no worries from me lol. By the way the ending was cool as hell, I mean what can you do? You might as well enjoy the grandeur of it all.


53 posted on 12/26/2004 9:55:13 PM PST by lwoodham
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To: Robert_Paulson2
one "wormwood" asteroid....

Possible reference to AC Clarke's "Light of Other Days", perhaps?

;-D

54 posted on 12/26/2004 9:56:07 PM PST by FierceDraka ("I am not going to sit here, and listen to you BAD MOUTH the United States of America! Gentlemen!")
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To: shadowman99
I am glad it will not cause destruction of global scale. However, if it did hit Earth, it would most likely fall into the ocean and create tsunami of biblical proportion.
55 posted on 12/26/2004 9:59:08 PM PST by Fishing-guy
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To: TexasGreg
The "good" news is that this puppy passes close to the earth multiple times ... close enough for us to reach it with current tech. I

This also means that its relative speed is not that great. This will limit the damage on impact as we use a series of large nukes to adjust its landing point to precisely...Mecca.

56 posted on 12/26/2004 9:59:43 PM PST by BlazingArizona
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To: shadowman99

Wonder what the uncertainty is on size....1/4 mile diameter, +/- 1/4 mile? Be nice to know possible projected impact regions soon.....Terhan??

So....what is Bush doin' 'bout this and when did he find out about it, hmmmm!?


57 posted on 12/26/2004 10:01:42 PM PST by griffin
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To: lwoodham

Bt the way I had an unnerving dream 2 nights ago about an asteroid striking nearby with an unimaginable explosion. My whole house with me in it was literaly and with great forrce blown high into the air. Shivers. I don't know if this was cause an effect, or effect and cause lmao.

I actually witnessed an inbound meteorite many years ago in Huntsville , Alabama. There was a flash of light bright as day(it was around 8 p.m. ), and the light flashed overhead at a great rate. Later we all found that an asteroid had come down somewhere in Kentecky that night.


58 posted on 12/26/2004 10:03:13 PM PST by lwoodham
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To: tscislaw; snopercod
1974 Grand Torino Sport.

351 cu in Cleveland engine; 4-bbl carb; limited slip differential (3:25:1); C-6 transmission; extra transmission oil cooler.

The air cleaner housing had a second opening in the side, vacuum-operated, that would open to allow more air, when you leaned into the throttle.

Car was light brown-gold metalic with buckskin interior. Console w' shifter.

14 mpg in town, maybe 19 on the highway.

A friend of mine, at the same time that I ordered mine, ordered for his wife, a four door Torino with the complete Police Package; a genuine "sleeper."

That Torino could really move.

59 posted on 12/26/2004 10:05:15 PM PST by First_Salute (May God save our democratic-republican government, from a government by judiciary.)
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To: shadowman99
Wake me up in 2028. I'll be 51. YIKES!
60 posted on 12/26/2004 10:06:21 PM PST by Conservomax (There are no solutions, only trade-offs.)
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