2004 FU162 (also written 2004 FU162) is a meteoroid which passed within about one Earth radius (~6400 km) of the surface of the Earth at 15:35 UTC on March 31, 2004 (or 2.02 Earth radii from the centre of the Earth.) As of 2008[update] this is the third or fourth closest approach. The discovery was not announced until August 22, 2004.
It was only observed four times in the space of 44 minutes and could not be followed up. Nevertheless, "the orbit is quite determinate and, given the exceptional nature of this close approach, the object is now receiving a designation". No precovery images have been found.
2004 FU162 is estimated to be only 6 meters in diameter. This means that it would burn up from atmospheric friction before striking the ground in the case of an impact. Objects under 50 meters in diameter are generally classified as a meteoroid instead of an asteroid.
Another, larger near earth meteoroid, 2004 FH passed just two weeks prior to 2004 FU162.
- "Closest by far". hohmanntransfer. 22 August 2004. Retrieved 2004-08-25.
- Yeomans, Donald K. "Horizon Online Ephemeris System". California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
- "JPL Close-Approach Data: (2004 FU162)". 2011-09-21 last obs (arc=1 day; uncertainty=9). Retrieved 2012-03-21.
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