[meteorite-list] Recently Discovered Near-Earth Asteroid Makes Record-breaking Approach to Earth (2004 FH)

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:32:51 2004
Message-ID: <200403180452.UAA08325_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Recently Discovered Near-Earth Asteroid Makes Record-breaking Approach to Earth
Steven R. Chesley
Paul W. Chodas
NASA's Near Earth Object Program Office
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

A small near-Earth asteroid (NEA), discovered Monday night by
the NASA-funded LINEAR asteroid survey, will make the
closest approach to Earth ever recorded. There is no danger of a
collision with the Earth during this encounter.

The object, designated 2004 FH, is roughly 30 meters (100 feet)
in diameter and will pass just 43,000 km (26,500 miles, or about
3.4 Earth diameters) above the Earth's surface on March 18th at
5:08 PM EST (2:08 PM PST, 22:08 UTC). (Close approach details

On average, objects about the size of 2004 FH pass within this
distance roughly once every two years, but most of these small
objects pass undetected. This particular close approach is unusual
only in the sense that scientists know about it. The fact that an
object as small as asteroid 2004 FH has been discovered now is
mostly a matter of perseverance by the LINEAR team, who are
funded by NASA to search for larger kilometer-sized NEAs, but
also routinely detect much smaller objects.

Asteroid 2004 FH's point of closest approach with the Earth will
be over the South Atlantic Ocean. Using a good pair of binoculars,
the object will be bright enough to be seen during this close
approach from areas of Europe, Asia and most of the Southern

Scientists look forward to the flyby as it will provide them an
unprecedented opportunity to study a small NEA asteroid up close.
Received on Wed 17 Mar 2004 11:52:47 PM PST

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