June 17, 2005 – Mark your calendars for Friday April 13, 2029   Leave a comment

Asteroid 2004 MN4 will come scarily close to Earth on April 13, 2029, but it will not hit.

On April 13, 2029, asteroid 2004 MN4 will fly past Earth only 18,600 miles (30,000 km) above the ground. For comparison, geosynchronous satellites orbit at 22,300 miles (36,000 km).

The picture above shows the scale of the asteroid’s track. It will come much closer to Earth than the Moon and closer even than high orbit satellites (a.k.a. geosynchronous satellites.) So close, in fact, that the Earth’s gravitational pull will deflect the asteroid’s path.

The asteroid’s trajectory will bend approximately 28 degrees during the encounter, “a result of Earth’s gravitational pull,” explains [Jon] Giorgini [of Jet Propulsion Laboratory]

Here is some more information on JPL’s Near Earth Object Program website.

— Grant

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Posted Friday, June 17, 2005 by Grant in Random

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