Feeds

Earth in near miss with space rock

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.