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Near-Earth asteroid 'very unlikely' to hit us

Posted on Thursday, 3 March, 2016 | Comment icon 13 comments

It looks incredibly unlikely that 2013 TX68 will collide with the Earth. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Astronomers have moved to allay concerns over the possibility of an asteroid collision early next week.
At approximately 100ft in diameter, asteroid 2013 TX68 is slightly larger than the rock that exploded over Chelyabinsk back in 2013 which damaged hundreds of buildings and injured 1,500 people.

Fortunately though this latest space rock does not appear on NASA's list of potentially dangerous asteroids at all and the chances of a collision are thought to be very small indeed.

Instead, astronomers argue, it will probably pass anywhere from as little as 22,300 miles - the distance of Earth's geostationary satellites - to as far as four times further away than the moon.

There is still a possibility that the asteroid will warrant an entry on NASA's hazardous asteroid list in the event that observations nearer the time make it out to be larger than previously thought however this is also believed to be extremely unlikely given what we know of it so far.

"It’s possible but unlikely," said Cornell University doctoral candidate Sean Marshall.

"Still, you wouldn’t want to be there if it hit. It could still wipe out a city."

Source: New York Times | Comments (13)

Tags: Asteroid, Earth

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Kiltedmusician on 3 March, 2016, 15:40
So that works out to as little as 22,300 miles away up to 955,000 miles away. It's like standing down range and being fired at by a very inaccurate rifle and scientists tell you it will either hit that target over there about 20' away or you'll feel it buzz past your head. Unless it's a bigger bullet than we think it is, but we don't think it is. We'll see when it gets closer.
Comment icon #5 Posted by preacherman76 on 3 March, 2016, 16:19
And that's admitted to be highly uncertain. And never before seen, they don't even know what day its coming. They usually have it pegged to within seconds, to a couple hours.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Calibeliever on 3 March, 2016, 17:50
Yes, the high margin for error is disconcerting. It just goes to show how much more we need to start investing in our detection and tracking efforts. As things stand now, the day will come when we are caught completely by surprise and there will be little we can do about it.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Nzo on 3 March, 2016, 18:45
I am going to blow all your minds... I am going to predict the future... In the next 6 months, there will be evidence to show that Near-Earth asteroid 'very likely' to hit us
Comment icon #8 Posted by Jeffertonturner on 3 March, 2016, 19:04
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 3 March, 2016, 19:32
You are misunderstanding the uncertainty levels involved here. The asteroid will pass no closer than 15,000 miles and no further than 9 million miles from Earth. These figures ARE certain. It is where BETWEEN those distances it will pass that is uncertain. It is absolutely certain that this object will not hit the Earth. Not true. It was first observed in 2013 (hence the fact it is called 2013 TX68 - the first four digits in an asteroid's designation are the year of discovery). Once again, not true. It's orbital parameters have been refined so that they now know it will make it&#... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Ashyne on 4 March, 2016, 0:56
Looking forward to it hitting our planet.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 4 March, 2016, 1:33
You are going to have a long wait, it will nit be hitting the planet any time in the next century,
Comment icon #12 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 4 March, 2016, 1:51
What a weird thing to look forward to.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Absinthe on 5 March, 2016, 5:02
Ho Hum!

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