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'Potentially hazardous' asteroid discovered

Posted on Sunday, 12 January, 2014 | Comment icon 16 comments

Astronomers don't believe that there is any danger of a collision. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA has located a half-mile wide asteroid that could pass within 300,000 miles of the Earth.
The object is the first to be discovered by NASA's WISE ( Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer ) spacecraft since it was reactivated last year for a new three-year mission to detect signs of dangerous asteroids.

Dubbed "2013 YP139", the new threat has a diameter of approximately 0.4 miles, enough to cause widespread global devastation in the event of an impact. Fortunately astronomers do not believe it will hit us, but it will pass by quite close at a distance similar to that of the moon.

"We are delighted to get back to finding and characterising asteroids and comets, especially those that come into Earth’s neighborhood," said JPL's Amy Mainzer. "With our infrared sensors that detect heat, we can learn about their sizes and reflectiveness."

The WISE spacecraft has to date discovered more than 34,000 asteroids.

Source: Russia Today | Comments (16)

Tags: Asteroid, WISE, NASA

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Frank Merton on 13 January, 2014, 6:57
What is needed is for the searchers to find and confirm a large asteroid on a clear trajectory to smash us in about fifty years. That would stimulate all kinds of activity and international cooperation in space.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Frank Merton on 13 January, 2014, 6:59
Is there some Scripture that says this or do you know some scientific principle unknown to science?
Comment icon #9 Posted by Frank Merton on 13 January, 2014, 7:02
Try calculating the area of the space occupied by the earth's orbit sometimes (the diameter is I think without looking it up something like 96 million miles) and compare that with the size of the Earth (diameter 8 thousand miles). You will see that 300,000 miles is quite close as these things go, as the Earth is really, really a small target.
Comment icon #10 Posted by White Crane Feather on 13 January, 2014, 7:12
"All kinds of activity" is an understatement. The good the bad, the horrible, and the amazing will all reveal themselves in such circumstances. I would hope the strength of humanity would prevail. Most of us would succumb to our animal egos......Except for japan. There is something to be said about a society built on honor, their behavior during the tsunamis was exemplary for the rest of the world . I have tried to talk my wife into moving there., I have also tried to talk her into living in a wigwam. No go. maybe the next life.
Comment icon #11 Posted by FizzPuff on 13 January, 2014, 10:32
Whoo boy. Comet Ison 2, the return. His bigger cousin wants revenge XD. (I couldn't help it)
Comment icon #12 Posted by Frank Merton on 13 January, 2014, 11:38
I have no doubt the authorities would get straight to work on it and deal with it and save the world; there are a number of technologies that would do the trick of altering the orbit enough to save us. The thing is the development of space technology for this function would lead to world cooperation and a lot of money being spent.
Comment icon #13 Posted by paperdyer on 13 January, 2014, 12:53
Tell that to the Dinosaurs.
Comment icon #14 Posted by coolguy on 14 January, 2014, 4:11
If this hit earth we would be pretty much done.kinda scary
Comment icon #15 Posted by cyclopes500 on 14 January, 2014, 4:36
What worries me the most is a comet as they're so unpredictable, and like an asteroid very similar to a snowball mixed with sand and pebbles. The ices however are so cold they're as hard as steel and granite. The stuff that nuclear bunkers underground are made of. Comets can hit the Earth, or more likely an asteroid showering space with debris, fragments of which could come our way. Also with the 'new' ones from the Oort cloud come a lot of toxic gases, and hitting the nucleus of one of them to deflect it, could in fact cause the thing to explode. If so causing a shotgun/shrapn... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by White Crane Feather on 14 January, 2014, 19:43
We should practice. Find an asteroid on a collision course with another planet and start deflecting them so we can work out the details.

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