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'Dangerous Planetoid' Is
Just Europe's Rosetta Probe

By Adriana Stuijt

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands. Astronomists at the Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona raised the alarm on 7 november when they detected this bright light hurling towards earth.
They believed that the bright dot represented a 'cosmic planetoid with a circumference of about 20 metres, hurling straight towa rds our planet.' They gave it the designation 2007-VN84 and estimated that it would just barely miss earth on 13 november.
However when Denis Denisenko of the Russian Institute for Space Research in Moscow noted from its published trajectory that it had just closely passed by Mars at the end of February, it rang a bell.
He realised that this "cosmic rock' was following the identical trajectory of the European Space Sonde Rosetta.
This little spacecraft with its bright solar panels is scheduled to visit comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014 and is picking up speed steadily by catapulting itself around Earth and Mars.
Next Tuesday, Rosetta will be catapulting itself for a second time around earth, flying 5,000km above the Pacific Ocean at a speed of 12,5 km/per .
Rosetta's third bypass around Earth will take place two years from now.
Rosetta looks so bright because of her solar panels.
Dutch news report:
http://www.volkskrant.nl/wetenschap/article477377.ece/ Gevaarlijke_kosmische_steen_blijkt_ruimtesonde_Rosetta?source=rss?


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