Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Asteroid Flyby on July 3

The asteroid 2004 XP14 is expected to approach Earth on July 3. Though not exactly a doomsday scenario, the half-mile diameter rock will flyby at a distance of roughly 268 thousand miles, a hairpin in astronomical terms.

The Apollo-class asteroid (which means it has an Earth-crossing orbit), was discovered on December 10, 2004, and is classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid. It will be closest to the earth at 4:25 UT on Monday.

semimajor axis = 1.032 AU
eccentricity = 0.162
inclination = 32.5°
perihelion = 0.865 AU
aphelion = 1.199 AU

More on Near-Earth Objects here

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