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: Millisecond pulsars clearly demonstrate that pulsars are neutron stars

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fingers crossed as comet-chaser nears end of trek

Aug 06, 2014

European scientists were preparing for a historic rendezvous on Wednesday between a comet and a space probe after a 10-year, six billion-kilometre (3.7-billion-mile) chase through the Solar System.

Comet joined by space probe after 10-year pursuit

Aug 06, 2014

Turning what seemed like a science fiction tale into reality, an unmanned probe swung alongside a comet on Wednesday after a 4-billion mile (6.4-billion kilometer) chase through outer space over the course ...

Recommended for you

How small can galaxies be?

20 hours ago

Yesterday I talked about just how small a star can be, so today let's explore just how small a galaxy can be. Our Milky Way galaxy is about 100,000 light years across, and contains about 200 billion stars. Th ...

The coolest stars

21 hours ago

One way that stars are categorized is by temperature. Since the temperature of a star can determine its visual color, this category scheme is known as spectral type. The main categories of spectral type are ...

Simulations reveal an unusual death for ancient stars

21 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Certain primordial stars—those 55,000 and 56,000 times the mass of our Sun, or solar masses—may have died unusually. In death, these objects—among the Universe's first-generation of stars—would ...

User comments : 0