Asteroid 2014 HQ 124

2014hq124A newfound asteroid will safely pass Earth next Monday from a distance of about 1.25 million km (more than three times farther away than the Moon).

The asteroid, called 2014 HQ124, was discovered a few weeks ago (23 April) by NASA’s NEOWISE mission, a older space telescope repurposed for scouting the skies for asteroids and comets. The telescope detects infrared light, allowing it to pick up the infrared glow of asteroids and obtain better estimates of their true sizes. The NEOWISE data estimate asteroid 2014 HQ124 to be in the range of 250 and 400 m.

Although 214 HQ 124 has been designated as a potentially hazardous asteroid, there is zero chance of an impact on this pass. The current observations were used to pin down the orbit of the asteroid out to the year 2200, during which time it poses no risk to Earth. Its trajectory will continue to be recalculated past that time frame as additional observations are received.

Marvin and the Instapundit will have to wait for the Earth-shattering kaboom.

Image Credit: NASA