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Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth

 
theresident
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06/26/2006 11:38 PM
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Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
An asteroid possibly as large as a half-mile or more in diameter is rapidly approaching the Earth. There is no need for concern, for no collision is in the offing, but the space rock will make an exceptionally close approach to our planet early on Monday, July 3, passing just beyond the Moon’s average distance from Earth.

Astronomers will attempt to get a more accurate assessment of the asteroid’s size by “pinging” it with radar.

And skywatchers with good telescopes and some experience just might be able to get a glimpse of this cosmic rock as it streaks rapidly past our planet in the wee hours Monday. The closest approach occurs late Sunday for West Coast skywatchers in the United States.

The asteroid, designated 2004 XP14, was discovered on Dec. 10, 2004 by the Lincoln Laboratory Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR), a continuing camera survey to keep watch for asteroids that may pass uncomfortably close to Earth.

Although initially there were concerns that this asteroid might possibly impact Earth later this century and thus merit special monitoring, further analysis of its orbit has since ruled out any such collision, at least in the foreseeable future.

Size not known
Asteroid 2004 XP14 is a member of a class of asteroids known as Apollo, which have Earth-crossing orbits. The name comes from 1862 Apollo, the first asteroid of this group to be discovered. There are now 1,989 known Apollos.

The size of 2004 XP 14 is not precisely known. But based on its brightness, the diameter is believed to be somewhere in the range of 1,345 to 3,018-feet (410 to 920 meters). That's between a quarter mile and just over a half-mile wide.

Due to the proximity of its orbit to Earth and its estimated size, this object has been classified as a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid” by the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There are currently 783 PNAs.

The latest calculations show that 2004 XP14 will pass closest to Earth at 04:25 UT on July 3 (12:25 a.m. EDT or 9:25 p.m. PDT on July 2). The asteroid’s distance from Earth at that moment will be 268,624-miles (432,308 km), or just 1.1 times the Moon’s average distance from Earth.

Spotting 2004 XP14 will be a challenge, best accomplished by seasoned observers with moderate-sized telescopes.

On April 13, 2029, observers in Asia and North Africa will have a chance to see another asteroid, but without needing a telescope. Asteroid 99942 Apophis, about 1,000 feet (300 meters) wide, is expected to be visible to the naked eye as it passes within 20,000 miles (32,000 km). Astronomers say an asteroid that large comes that close about once every 1,500 years.

Observing plans
As 2004 XP14 makes its closest approach to Earth, astronomers will attempt to gauge its size and shape by analysis of very high frequency radio waves reflected from its surface.

Such radar measurements of the exact distance and velocity of the asteroid will allow for precise information on its orbit. From this scientists can also discern details of the asteroid’s mass, as well as a measurement of its density, which is a very important indicator of its overall composition and internal structure.

Astronomers plan to utilize NASA's 70-meter (230-foot) diameter Goldstone radar, the largest and most sensitive antenna in its Deep Space Network. Located in California’s Mojave Desert, the Goldstone antenna has been used to bounce radio signals off other Near-Earth asteroids many times before, and it is now being readied to “ping” 2004 XP14 on July 3, 4 and 5.

Augmenting the Goldstone observations will be radar observations scheduled at Evpatoria in the Ukraine, commencing several hours prior to the July 3 observations at Goldstone.

[link to msnbc.msn.com]
The Holy 1 is 1 with all
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06/26/2006 11:39 PM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
That is so weird!! posted at the same time!
theresident  (OP)

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06/26/2006 11:41 PM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
I noticed that, but our respective subject lines had vastly different implications!

Though, we shall see I suppose.
Anonymous Coward
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06/26/2006 11:43 PM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
That is so weird!! posted at the same time!
 Quoting: The Holy 1 is 1 with all 109787


Except this one was posted by someone who can read.
theresident  (OP)

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06/26/2006 11:51 PM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
On the morning of Monday, July 3 the Earth will be buzzed by 400-metre asteroid designated 2004 XP14. Close approach will be about 400,000 km… about the same distance as the Moon! Please see the reverse for a chart of its motion. Until July 1 XP14 will be hiding in the southern constellation of Caelum, below our horizon. But during the daylight hours of July 2nd and into the evening, XP14 will shoot right up into Triangulum and rise in the northeast after midnight on Monday morning. Fortunately for us, it’ll be a holiday long weekend! Take Monday off to sleep in, if you have a 4.5-inch or larger telescope this will be worth checking out. 2004 XP14 will appear to be about 11th magnitude, and it will cross more than 7 arc-seconds per second. It will be crossing an angle equivalent to the size of the full moon in less than ten minutes. To find it, pick a star from the chart that is within one eyepiece radius of the asteroid’s path, and wait for it to swing through.

[link to toronto.rasc.ca]
theresident  (OP)

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06/26/2006 11:57 PM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
The July flyby of Apollo Asteroid 2004 XP14



This coming July features a spectacular flyby of the near-Earth Apollo asteroid 2004 XP14. Like the flyby of 2002 NY40 in 2002, 2004 XP14 will amaze visual observers with incredible speed visible in medium size telescopes.



Near close approach around 4h44m UT July 3, this 600-meter/yard diameter asteroid

Passes only 268,873 miles from the Earth, only 1.1 times the distance to the moon away.

Peaking at visual magnitude 11.1 four hours later, users of telescopes of 6 inches (15cm)

or larger can enjoy observing a rare celestial treat. At time of close approach, 2004 XP14

races along at 8.323 degrees per hour, or a mean lunar diameter every four minutes!

Such a rapid speed results in direct motion becoming visible, second by second. Just

as naked eye Earth satellites are seen crossing the sky, 2004 XP14 will both amaze and

challenge the observer, both visually and those taking images.



Visual observing this event presents a sight very few have seen in the eyepiece.

I found observing 2002 NY40 quite different from all my other 79 near-Earth objects, as I had to find a field ahead of it path and wait for it to arrive. The same method is best for success with 2004 XP14, traveling even fast then 2002 NY40. Even knowing when it was about to arrive, 2002 NY40 seemed to “come from nowhere” in the eyepiece. The same is to be expected with 2004 XP14.



Moving at so fast a speed, the observer would hardly be able to spot the field of view, note the exact time, and then move their eyes to the spot where the asteroid is expected.

It is perhaps possible to chase down this asteroid by following the expected path, but this will prove very difficult indeed.



Successful observation of this object should be possible by the following methods.



1. Computers printed star charts.

A series of maps should be made, centered every 15 minutes you expect to observe.

These will have to include the asteroid’s path and use up to date orbital elements which

your software suggests.



2. The asteroid path should be 1 degree both sides of your maps center. This will allow the observer 8 minutes of observing both sides of the center position on the map. Should you be unable to spot the asteroid over this time period, you can move along to the next map center.

If your software allows, mark every two minutes of time on the asteroid path line.



3. Have an atomic clock for time keeping, every second counts here. Use the best time keeping you can.



4. Holding your charts correctly! My Easyview star chart holder at http: //www.lpl.arizona.edu/~rhill/alpo/minplan/easy/easyview.html




is a hands free method of holding charts correctly for this and any observing event. Orientation

of the star fields is as important as clear skies. Without this, the star field will be impossible

to observe correctly. Even with this chart holder, orientation will take longer then you might

think, taking time away from your seeking the asteroid in the field of view. Putting together

this chart holder for this event is well worth the time and effort, and need not be expensive.



5. Observe star chart fields in advance. Taking the time to find each field of view for all

star charts a night or two in advance will greatly help your chances of spotting 2004 XP14.

Since you will not be pushed for time, try to spot them all, in the order you will try to track

the asteroid. Then repeat again if possible. Much time can be saved on the night of observation

this way.





6. The telescope. While an 11th magnitude object, rapid motion can reduce observed

apparent magnitude somewhat. A six-inch telescope may do well to track this, but 8 inches

or more will be better. Your mount will also play a large role tracking it. Also, the light

from the asteroid may vary in magnitude due to rotation. Loss of a full magnitude is possible. It may even drop below the limit of your telescope for a time and them rise again, keep looking!

[link to www.lpl.arizona.edu]
Anonymous Coward
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06/26/2006 11:59 PM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
That is so weird!! posted at the same time!


Except this one was posted by someone who can read.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 74543


When it comes to the mass media, those who can read THROUGH the lines can truly read
theresident  (OP)

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06/27/2006 12:02 AM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
Indeed, I consider myself able to read the lines as well as between them!
theresident  (OP)

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06/27/2006 12:03 AM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
Interesting what they're saying about it on other forums. For instance, Eric Juliens' site:

[link to forum.savelivesinmay.com]
theresident  (OP)

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06/27/2006 12:06 AM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
"Near close approach around 4h44m UT July 3, this 600-meter/yard diameter asteroid Passes only 268,873 miles from the Earth, only 1.1 times the distance to the moon away. Peaking at visual magnitude 11.1 four hours later, users of telescopes of 6 inches (15cm) or larger can enjoy observing a rare celestial treat."

Anyone notice the numbers!?

Oooh, must mean something right?
Ashchaya

User ID: 74543
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06/27/2006 12:08 AM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
"Near close approach around 4h44m UT July 3, this 600-meter/yard diameter asteroid Passes only 268,873 miles from the Earth, only 1.1 times the distance to the moon away. Peaking at visual magnitude 11.1 four hours later, users of telescopes of 6 inches (15cm) or larger can enjoy observing a rare celestial treat."

Anyone notice the numbers!?

Oooh, must mean something right?
 Quoting: theresident


rofl
If you spell "old school" with a "k", you are not old school.
theresident  (OP)

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06/27/2006 12:10 AM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
Edited my msg after your reply!

Threw an extra word 'be' in there.

Tongue 'n' cheek of course.
Anonymous Coward
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06/27/2006 12:10 AM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
Mabus dies and a rock goes flying by so it must be the end.
Ashchaya

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06/27/2006 12:12 AM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
Tongue 'n' cheek of course.
 Quoting: theresident


I know. I was laughing at your sarcasm.
If you spell "old school" with a "k", you are not old school.
theresident  (OP)

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06/27/2006 12:13 AM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
Thanks! Nice to know I'm not alone in my thinking!
theresident  (OP)

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06/27/2006 12:24 AM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
Another good site:

[link to hea-www.harvard.edu]

Edit to add another:

[link to www.hohmanntransfer.com]
theresident  (OP)

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06/27/2006 12:40 AM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
What is the matter with these people?

[link to www.rr-bb.com]
Anonymous Coward
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06/27/2006 02:13 AM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
bump
Anonymous Coward
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06/27/2006 08:52 AM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
spock
Anonymous Coward
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06/27/2006 05:02 PM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
bump
Anonymous Coward
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06/27/2006 05:05 PM
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Re: Huge asteroid to fly closely past Earth
When it comes to the mass media, those who can read THROUGH the lines can truly read
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 109787

That has GOT to be one of the more stupid comments made here.





GLP