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ExoLance
2029 asteroid impact ruled out
Posted: Tue, Dec 28, 2004, 11:01 AM ET (1601 GMT)
A small asteroid that earned the highest rating ever on an asteroid impact threat scale now poses no risk of colliding with the Earth in 2029, scientists said late Monday. Asteroid 2004 MN4, discovered in June and reobserved earlier this month, at one point posed a 1-in-37 chance of colliding with the Earth on April 13, 2029. Those odds put the object briefly at a 4 on the 0-to-10 Torino Scale, meaning that the object had a greater than one percent chance of striking the Earth and warranted special attention by astronomers. However, pre-discovery images of the object allowed astronomers to refine its orbit on Monday, ruling out any possibility of a 2029 impact. The asteroid, about 400 meters in diameter, also poses no other impact probabilities with the Earth through the rest of the 21st century.
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