2004 FU162

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2004 FU162
MPC designation2004 FU162
Aten · NEO[1][2]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 5 April 2004 (JD 2453100.5)
Uncertainty parameter 9
Aphelion1.1511 AU
Perihelion0.5026 AU
0.8269 AU
0.75 yr (275 days)
1° 18m 39.24s / day
Earth MOID0.0001 AU
Physical characteristics
Dimensions4–12 meters (estimated)

2004 FU162 is a subkilometer-sized asteroid, classified as near-Earth object of the Aten group.

It has only been observed once, on 31 March 2004, by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) team at Lincoln Laboratory's Experimental Test Site in Socorro, New Mexico, and remains a lost asteroid as of 2017.[1][2] The estimated 4 to 6 meter sized body has made one of the closest known approaches to Earth.


On 31 March 2004, at 15:35 UTC, it passed within approximately 1 Earth radius (R) or 6,400 kilometers of the surface of the Earth (or 2.02 R from its center). By comparison, geostationary satellites orbit at 5.6 R and GPS satellites orbit at 3.17 R from the center of the Earth.

As of 2008 this is the third or fourth closest approach. The first observation of 2004 FU162 was not announced until 22 August 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".[3] No precovery images have been found.

2004 FU162 is estimated to be only 6 meters in diameter.[citation needed] This means that it would burn up from atmospheric friction before striking the ground in the case of an Earth impact.

On 26 March 2010, it may have come within 0.0825 AU (12.3 million km) of Earth,[4] but with an uncertainty parameter of 9,[5] the orbit is poorly determined.

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


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: (2004 FU162)" (2004-03-31 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b "2004 FU162". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Closest by far". hohmanntransfer. 22 August 2004. Retrieved 2004-08-25.
  4. ^ Yeomans, Donald K. "Horizon Online Ephemeris System". California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
  5. ^ "JPL Close-Approach Data: (2004 FU162)" (last observation: 2004-03-31; arc: 1 day; uncertainty: 9). Retrieved 2012-03-21.

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