Feeds

Earth in near miss with space rock

Half-mile asteroid to whizz by at a moon's distance

Boost IT visibility and business value

An asteroid half a mile long will fly past the earth tomorrow morning, missing us by an astronomical hair's breadth of half a million kilometres or so.

The asteroid, dubbed 2004 XP14, had been flagged as a potentially hazardous object when it was discovered in 2004. Australian astronomers have been tracking its approach to make sure the calculations showing it would miss us were correct. Their work shows that the object will zip past Earth at 05:25 tomorrow morning, barely further away than the moon.

In astronomical terms, this is a very near miss. If an asteroid of this size were to hit the planet's surface, it would do a substantial amount of damage. On land, it would create a crater between 10-15 km across, and if it hit the sea, it would create a big set of waves.

One of the astronomers, Gordon Garradd, told ABC news: "Six hundred metres diameter would do a lot of damage if it did hit, we're talking a crater many kilometres across. If it's in the ocean you're going to get one huge tsunami."

The asteroid was discovered by NASA's Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (Linear) project, which was set up to spot exactly this kind of object. Initially, scientists were worried XP-14 might collide with Earth later this century, but say now that its path is not a threat to Earth, after all. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.