Huge asteroid hurtles toward Earth

Jun 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: Astronomer confirms a new "Super-Earth" planet

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Potentially hazardous asteroid surprises astronomers

Dec 15, 2014

"Watch therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour," could be still an actual description of our ability to predict asteroid threats to Earth. The sentence from the Bible (Matthew 25:13) sounds like a ...

Rosetta begins descending to comet 67P (WATCH LIVE)

Nov 12, 2014

Hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, a speeding European spacecraft released a lander toward the icy, dusty surface of a comet on Wednesday, setting off a seven-hour countdown to an audacious attempt ...

A close-up with a comet

Nov 11, 2014

Even as Tom Economou approached retirement age in 1994, he began planning an instrument for the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission to a comet. He still remembers the reaction of Riccardo Levi-Setti, ...

Recommended for you

Kepler proves it can still find planets

Dec 18, 2014

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of the Kepler spacecraft's death was greatly exaggerated. Despite a malfunction that ended its primary mission in May 2013, Kepler is still alive and working. The evidence ...

User comments : 0

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.