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.

03 May 2006

New Possible Object of Interest: 2006 HZ51

"A newly discovered asteroid is now the biggest thing known with a possibility of hitting the Earth in this century – and it is also the one that could hit the soonest."

"But the odds of impact currently stand at just one in six million, reducing the fear factor somewhat, and these odds should further diminish with additional observations. This latest addition to NASA-JPL's list of potentially hazardous asteroids was discovered on 27 April 2006."

"The asteroid, called 2006 HZ51, has an estimated diameter of about 800 metres and is the one of the largest objects ever to make the list. An object of that size would cause widespread devastation if it did strike the Earth."

"HZ51 also has one of the shortest lead-times to a potential impact of any such object yet found, and the shortest of any potential Earth-impactor currently on the list. The earliest of its 165 possible impact dates is just over two years away, on 21 June 2008."

"As for the newfound 2006 HZ51, the orbit calculations so far are based on just over 24 hours of observations, and so are likely to change quickly and should not be seen as a serious concern."

"Big new asteroid has slim chance of hitting Earth"
David Chandler
02 May 2006
New Scientist

Link: New Scientist Article

Link: JPL Near Earth Objects Page on 2006 HZ1

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