Huge asteroid hurtles toward Earth

June 29, 2006

An asteroid that's about one-half-mile wide is hurtling toward Earth, expected to narrowly miss the planet early Monday.

Astronomers say the space rock, called 2004 XP14, will pass "exceptionally close" to Earth in astronomical terms -- 268,624 miles away at its closest approach, The Scotsman reported. That's a little more than the moon's average distance from Earth.

The asteroid, discovered in December 2004, at first produced concerns that it could hit Earth later in the century but subsequent studies ruled out such a collision.

However, 2004 XP14 has been classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid, or PHA, by the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass., because of the proximity of its orbit to Earth and its estimated size, The Scotsman said.

Astronomers have a list of 783 PHAs.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Hunting Prospero

Related Stories

Hunting Prospero

October 29, 2015

A relic of the early Space Age turns 44 years old this week.

Swift spacecraft spots its thousandth gamma-ray burst

November 6, 2015

NASA's Swift spacecraft has detected its 1,000th gamma-ray burst (GRB). GRBs are the most powerful explosions in the universe, typically associated with the collapse of a massive star and the birth of a black hole.

The moon

September 21, 2015

Look up in the night sky. On a clear night, if you're lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of the moon shining in all it's glory. As Earth's only satellite, the moon has orbited our planet for over three and a half billion years. ...

Saturn's moon Titan

October 5, 2015

In ancient Greek lore, the Titans were giant deities of incredible strength who ruled during the legendary Golden Age and gave birth to the Olympian gods we all know and love. Saturn's largest moon, known as Titan, is therefore ...

The gas (and ice) giant Neptune

September 14, 2015

Neptune is the eight planet from our Sun, one of the four gas giants, and one of the four outer planets in our Solar System. Since the "demotion" of Pluto by the IAU to the status of a dwarf planet – and/or Plutoid and ...

Recommended for you

The hottest white dwarf in the Galaxy

November 25, 2015

Astronomers at the Universities of Tübingen and Potsdam have identified the hottest white dwarf ever discovered in our Galaxy. With a temperature of 250,000 degrees Celsius, this dying star at the outskirts of the Milky ...

A blue, neptune-size exoplanet around a red dwarf star

November 25, 2015

A team of astronomers have used the LCOGT network to detect light scattered by tiny particles (called Rayleigh scattering), through the atmosphere of a Neptune-size transiting exoplanet. This suggests a blue sky on this world ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.