2004 FU162

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2004 FU162 (also written 2004 FU162) is a small asteroid 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 this is the third or fourth closest approach. The discovery was not announced until August 22, 2004.

By comparison, geostationary satellites orbit at 5.6 Earth radii and GPS satellites orbit at 3.17 Earth radii from the center of the Earth.

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".[1] 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 Earth impact.

On March 26, 2010 it may have come within 0.0825AU (12.3 million km) of Earth,[2] but with an uncertainty parameter of 9,[3] the orbit is poorly determined.

Another, larger near-Earth asteroid, 2004 FH passed just two weeks prior to 2004 FU162.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Closest by far". hohmanntransfer. 22 August 2004. Retrieved 2004-08-25. 
  2. ^ Yeomans, Donald K. "Horizon Online Ephemeris System". California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  3. ^ "JPL Close-Approach Data: (2004 FU162)" (last observation: 2004-03-31; arc: 1 day; uncertainty: 9). Retrieved 2012-03-21. 

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