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From: TerryMoselaol.com
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2005 20:16:09 EST
Subject: Very near miss! Eclipse Trip, Lecture

Hi All,

1. A close shave!  We will have our closest yet predicted near-miss by an 
asteroid, called MN4, on Friday 13 April! So who says Friday 13 is unlucky?! The 
asteroid, almost a quarter of a mile wide, was originally estimated to be on a 
one-in-60 chance collision course with the planet, though most observers now 
believe it will definitely miss.
   However, the asteroid will come so close that it will pass between the 
Earth and orbiting telecommunications satellites - and, at 22,600 miles, will be 
the nearest predicted miss yet.   It will be visible with the naked eye from 
the UK mainland.
   If the asteroid were to hit Earth, the resulting explosion would be the 
equivalent to a direct strike with 20 hydrogen bombs. Vast areas of the planet 
would be transformed into wasteland, or, if it hit the ocean, a giant tsunami 
would be generated.
Professor Mark Bailey, director of the Armagh Observatory, said: "I think 
everyone is saying that it is going to miss, though you will be able to see it 
with a small telescope or even the naked eye. "It is like being on a train 
station platform and watching an express train go by three feet away. "You're close 
but it's not dangerous."
   More details later.

2. There are now over 80 people registered for the eclipse trip to Turkey! If 
you haven't put your name down yet, it will soon be too late! Send your 
details to David Bell sdbellgofree.indigo.ie

3. IAA lecture: Don't forget the lecture by Prof Mike Redfern, NUIG at 
Stranmillis College, Belfast, Lecture Room 5, 7.30 p.m., Wed 16 February: "Large 
Telescopes & Little Telescopes". Admission free, including light refreshments. 
All welcome.

Clear skies,

Terry Moseley

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Last Revised: 2005 February 16th
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