Asteroid 2004 MN4 Will Not Strike on Friday the 13th

Something not many people know about me is that by day, I work at a merchant account company helping other businesses accept credit card payments. But I moonlight as a wannabe astronomer; that’s where my real passion is. I am most interested in asteroids. I’ve always hoped that I would be able to discover one and name it after myself but anyone else out there who is also an astronomy buff knows that this will probably never happen. Asteroids are typically named by their year and half-month of discovery. Sometimes they are given a name after the orbit has been confirmed but that’s not always the case.

One asteroid that has excited me most in the past 10 years is 2004 MN4. Astronomers Chesley, Yeomans, and Chodas discovered this one on Christmas Eve in 2004 and it looked like it would collide with the earth on April 13, 2029. Friday the 13th!  If this asteroid were to hit earth, it would collide with a land area about the size of Texas and certainly cause a tsunami if it were to land in an ocean.

Luckily for us, further observation of the asteroid’s track revealed that it will miss us but not without providing us a bright glimpse of it. Residents in Africa, Europe, and Asia will get the best look at it and it is said that it will be able to be seen through city lights, to the unaided eye, and it will look like a very bright star.

I’ve already decided that I am going to book a trip to England and stay with my relatives during that time so that I will be able to see it. Yes, I know that it’s a long ways off and I will be over 50 by then, but give me a break! Every day I deal with customers calling me about their merchant accounts and it can get quite tedious. I need to have things to look forward to in order to keep me sane.