Re: 2004 FH flyby

From: Tony Beresford (
Date: Thu Mar 18 2004 - 00:17:35 EST

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    At 15:15 18/03/04, Dale Ireland wrote:
    >I can't tell the details but this object looks like it might fly right
    >through the geosynchronous satellite area. Can anyone confirm that??
    >Orbital elements:
    >2004 FH
    >Epoch 2004 July 14.0 TT = JDT 2453200.5                 MPC
    >M  28.04230              (2000.0)            P               Q
    >n   1.33238790     Peri.   62.95163     +0.84229753     +0.53901279
    >a   0.8179290      Node   264.43190     -0.49463736     +0.77274043
    >e   0.2884138      Incl.    0.01662     -0.21416991     +0.33516778
    >P   0.74           H   25.7           G   0.15
    Better figures. Though I dispute the comment about good binoculars,
    since I doubt there are that many 25by 100 binocs around.
    At brightest mag 10.5 , roating every 3 minutes with a 1 mag brightness
    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. 
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