Tuesday, December 28, 2004

New observations rule out asteroid Earth impact in 2029

Even though it was supposed to be on Friday the 13th... Amazing (see origional post here)!!!
AP Wire | 12/28/2004 | New observations rule out asteroid Earth impact in 2029: PASADENA, Calif. - Additional observations of asteroid 2004 MN4 have ruled out the possibility it could hit Earth in 2029, NASA scientists said. Based on observations in June and again this month, the big asteroid last week was given a small chance of impacting Earth on April 13 of that year, although the Near Earth Object Program Office at Jet Propulsion Laboratory said it was likely that a collision would be ruled out as more information was learned about its orbit. Astronomers then began independent efforts to find earlier observations of the asteroid. Jeff Larsen and Anne Descour of the Spacewatch Observatory near Tucson, Ariz., found faint pictures of the asteroid in archival images dating to March 15, the NEO office said in a statement posted on its Web site this week. 'These observations extended the observed time interval for this asteroid by three months allowing an improvement in its orbit so that an Earth impact on 13 April 2029 can now be ruled out,' the NEO office said. The refined trajectory of the object also ruled out an impact with the moon.

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