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Observations demonstrate asteroid will miss Earth.
Near the end of 2004, Astronomers found a 320 metre (1000 feet) wide space rock that seemed to have the highest chance ever reported of actually striking the Earth - on April 13, 2029. Further observations have demonstrated that the asteroid will miss... phew. But when it streaks by in about 24 years, it will come so close - 30,000 km (18,600 miles) - that observers on the ground will easily see it with the unaided eye. It will get as bright as a 3rd magnitude star, and be visible from Africa, Europe and Asia.
A team of amateur Canadian Astronomers took the helm at the powerful Gemini 8-metre telescope atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea for an hour. The time was awarded as part of a nationwide contest in Canada. The winning team from Quebec proposed that Gemini analyze a star called RY Tau, which is in a class of T Tauri stars. These are young, low mass stars which have only just recently emerged from their stellar cocoon of gas and dust. Professional Astronomers working with Gemini were impressed at the calibre of proposals they received from amateurs.
Just a few weeks after smashing a chunk off Drygalski ice tongue, iceberg B-15A is still wreaking havoc off the coast of Antarctica. Now it's about to crash into the Aviator Glacier - a 25 km (16 mile) long spear of ice stretching into the ocean. The European Space Agency's Envisat Earth observation satellite captured this image of B-15A just a few kilometres away from the crash. B-15A is the world's largest free floating object, which has been afloat for more than 5 years now, since it calved off the Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000.
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