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2004 VD17 Update March 7, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Asteroids, Space.

Keeping tabs on Near Earth Asteroid 2004 VD17 and still and finding that its chance of Earth impact continues to inch upward.

The MSM picked up the story after New Scientist published a piece on March 1 about the increased risk of a 2004 VD17 Earth impact in 2102. (Ahem. Five days after I blogged about it.)

When I first started following the Near Earth Asteroids on this blog Apophis represented the greatest risk to Earth. Not the case now, as 2004 VD17 has become the first asteroid since Apophis was first discovered to go so high on the Torino Impact Hazard Scale.

When 2004 VD17 first moved up on the Torino scale it stood at a 1 in 1,850 chance of striking the Earth. As of today the chance of impact sits at 1 in 1,330.

That’s still a 99.93 percent chance that the object will not impact Earth, astronomers generally agree that when the chance of impact becomes around one percent that it warrants serious concern.

As future observations may indeed prove that 2004 VD17 is either certainly on a collision course with Earth or certainly not on a collision course with Earth all of this information must be considered with that fact in mind.


Some additional notes on NEOs.

On Feb, 1, 2006 the Siding Spring Survey discovered a Near Earth Asteroid over 2 kilometers in width. It is, by far, the largest object on NASAs NEO Web site that is being monitored for current impact risk.

2006 CS has almost no chance of ever impacting Earth but its discovery shows that there are still unknowns lurking just around the corner in our celestial neighborhood.

Related Posts:

Asteroid reaches two on Torino Scale
Close encounters of the asteroid kind
Apophis collision more likely


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