Feeds

Earth in near miss with space rock

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
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.
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?