This area will cover relevant news of the threat to the planet from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) including concepts and designs for mitigation. All opinions are those of the author.

01 March 2006

Article on Asteroid 2004 VD17

"On 23 February, new observations allowed researchers to more accurately calculate the orbit of the asteroid, named 2004 VD17, which was originally detected by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's LINEAR project. Since the improvement did not rule out a potential collision with the Earth on 4 May 2102, they increased the asteroid's rating to level 2 on the Torino Scale, a relatively rare event.

So VD17 currently claims the top spot on NASA's online list of potential asteroid impacts...Despite the rarity of the yellow designation, Yeomans says 'Torino 2 is not very alarming.' He notes that the scale does not take account of how soon an impact may occur, unlike its rival, the Palermo Scale...Based on current observations, he says the asteroid has a 1 in 1600 chance of striking the Earth in 2102 and a 1 in 500,000 chance of hitting two years later. But further observations will soon refine the orbit calculation for VD17 – and hopefully ease minds."

"New asteroid at top of Earth-threat list"
Kimm Groshong
March 1, 2006


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