Space: And Now, Something Else to Worry About

And Now, Something Else to Worry About

Asteroids are becoming serious business. Just last month a House subcommittee recommended a threefold increase in spending on observation of near-Earth objects. And only a year after astronomers triggered a short-lived scare by suggesting that asteroid 1997 XF11 might someday strike Earth, another newly discovered asteroid is causing concern. This one is 1999 AN10, a kilometer-wide hulk that in 2027 could hurtle past us as little as 20,000 miles away. First spotted in January, the asteroid attracted little attention when Italian astronomers posted preliminary calculations of its orbit on their website. But when these results were repeated on CCnet, a widely...

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