Monday, December 27, 2004

Near Earth Objects may be Closer than they Seem

With Christmas observations and now the tsunami in Indonesia, the news outlets seem to have missed a huge story, that of a 400m asteroid with a 2.7% chance of colliding with the Earth on April 13, 2029. Read more about it here

More observations are needed to confirm the orbit and refine the calculations, but this object is potentially devastating, albeit just under 25 years from now. Should it hit an ocean, the most likely event if it hits at all, yesterday's tsunami will be a pond ripple in comparison.

As of now the likelihood of a near miss is still a very large at 97% and even if that shrinks we have over two decades and existing technology to nudge the asteroid out of its current track. Such a project will get a lot more attention if the odds change to our disadvantage. Stay tuned...

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