(see also JPL site)
MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [Image] March 12, 1998
ASTEROID WILL MISS EARTH BY "COMFORTABLE DISTANCE" IN 2028
Asteroid 1997 XF11 will pass well beyond the Moon's distance from
Earth in October 2028 with a zero probability of impacting the planet,
according to astronomers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA.
The asteroid "is predicted to pass at a rather comforable distance
of about 600,000 miles (about 960,000 kilometers) in 2028," reported Dr.
Donald K. Yeomans and Dr. Paul W. Chodas, JPL scientists who specialize in
computing the predicted orbits of comets, asteroids, planets and other
bodies in the solar system.
Data on the asteroid from March 1990 (well before its discovery in
December 1997) was integrated into the orbit calculations by Yeomans and
Chodas to arrive at the distance the asteroid will pass Earth. The 1990
observations of the object were found today in the Palomar Planet Crossing
Asteroid Survey conducted at Caltech's Palomar Observatory, by JPL's
Eleanor Helin and Ken Lawrence and by Brian Roman, formerly of JPL.
Even prior to the discovery of the earlier Palomar observations,
however, Yeomans and Chodas had determined that the impact probability
would be zero. The new calculations further underscore that conclusion,
JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.