An Asteroid Is About To Pass So Close To Earth, We Might See It In The Sky

Share it:
NASA has publicized that a 30-metre wide asteroid passing Earth on March 5 may come so nearby that it'll be detectable in our sky. Before anybody freaks out, there's definitely no chance that this asteroid is going to Collide with EARTH. NASA is still calculating its precise trajectory, but at the closest estimation, it'll be 18,000 km (11,000 miles) away as it passes us by - which would make it simply viewable with the help of a typical telescope.

The asteroid could travel further afield, and pass Earth at a distance of about 14 million km (9 million miles). The cause for the big variance in these two approximations is that NASA only found about this asteroid three years ago - therefore the very-catchy name, asteroid 2013 TX68 - and haven't had much time to study it just yet. When it was first found, it was coming towards Earth on the night-time side of the planet, but just after three days of tracing, the asteroid moved into the day-time sky so it could no longer be watched. In that small period of time, researchers have been able to approximately map its likely routes, but there's a minor margin of error, which is why we're not precisely certain whether it'll be passing us with an extremely wide berth, or coming close enough for us to get a sight of it.

Paul Chodas, the manager of NASA's Centre for Near Earth Object Studies, said "This asteroid’s orbit is quite uncertain, and it will be hard to predict where to look for it. There is a chance that the asteroid will be picked up by our asteroid search telescopes when it safely flies past us next month, providing us with data to more precisely define its orbit around the Sun."

Chodas continued "The possibilities of collision on any of the three future flyby dates are far too small to be of any real concern. I fully expect any future observations to reduce the probability even more."

If asteroid 2013 TX68 did smash Earth's atmosphere, NASA forecasts it would yield an air burst about twice the energy of the Chelyabinsk event.
Share it:

Related Articles

Post A Comment