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Re: close approach



At 4:52 PM -0700 7/24/02, James R. Cunningham wrote:
To all:
Have any of you heard any details about the small asteroid discovered
last week that may make a fairly close approach on February 2, 2019?  If
so, could you pass along any info you might have?

I just covered it for New Scientist's web site: http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99992591

As asteroid searches pick up more objects, we're going to see more of these stories. When they first spot them, they have only a few days of data -- 14 in this case -- and the large uncertainty in position at some times in the future can sometimes allow for a collision -- at odds of one in 100,000 or 1 in a million. Longer term observations make these possibilities go away.

The astronomers give proper qualifiers on their warnings, but some of the press sometimes loses those qualifiers. -- Jeff Hecht