Nasa says asteroid 203 TX68 will pass three MILLION miles from Earth on March 8th (but admits there’s a one in 250 million chance it could hit Earth in 2017)
- Nasa says the asteroid, dubbed 2013 TX68, poses no threat to Earth
- Latest prediction shows it will fly by 3m miles (5m km) from our planet
- Small chance it could pass 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers) above Earth
- One in 250 million chance it will hit Earth on september 28, 2017
A 100ft-wide asteroid, first spotted when it flew by Earth two years ago, is set to make its return on March 8th.
Nasa’s initial estimate showed the whale-sized space rock may skim past Earth at just 11,000 miles (17,000 km), which is around 21 times closer to Earth than the moon – but Nasa admitted this estimate may be widely inaccurate, and the asteroid may also pass Earth as far out as 9 million miles (14 million km).
Now a new prediction for 2013 TX68 is that it will fly by roughly 3 million miles (5 million kilometers) from our planet.
‘Additional observations of asteroid 2013 TX68 have been obtained, refining its orbital path and moving the date of the asteroid’s Earth flyby from March 5 to March 8,’ Nasa said.
The observations, from archived images provided by the Nasa-funded Pan-STARRS asteroid survey, enabled scientists at Nasa’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, to refine their earlier flyby and distance predictions, reconfirming that the asteroid poses no threat to Earth.
The data indicate that this small asteroid will probably pass much farther away from Earth than previously thought.’
Marco Micheli of the European Space Agency’s NEO Coordination Centre (NEOCC/SpaceDys) in Frascati, Italy, is the astronomer who identified the object in the archived images, measured its position, and provided these observations to the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
CNEOS’s new prediction for 2013 TX68 is that it will fly by roughly 3 million miles (5 million kilometers) from our planet.
There is still a chance that it could pass closer, but certainly no closer than 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers) above Earth’s surface.
The new observations also better constrain the path of 2013 TX68 in future years; CNEOS has determined that 2013 TX68 cannot impact Earth over the next century.
‘There is no concern whatsoever regarding this asteroid – unless you were interested in seeing it with a telescope,’ said Chodas.
‘Prospects for observing this asteroid, which were not very good to begin with, are now even worse because the asteroid is likely to be farther away, and therefore dimmer than previously believed.’
Orbit calculations of asteroids are constantly updated based on observations reported to the Minor Planet Center.
This results in projections of minimum, maximum and nominal distances from Earth, which can sometimes have a wide disparity due to limited data.
Over time, with additional observations added to the equation, scientists are able to refine and narrow the orbit uncertainties.
Scientists have also identified an extremely remote chance that this small asteroid could impact on September 28, 2017, with odds of no more than 1-in-250-million.
Here’s my comments about NASA recently updated about Earth will be wipe out by a Meteorite in 2017:
Scaremongering is an established way to get an article published and grab a reader’s attention. Most sophisticated readers would probably be skeptical about the writers premise that the world was due to end and that humankind was teetering on the edge of extinction. As in 2013 NASA has on previous occasions made predictions about giant space rocks heading in Earths direction and coming close to potentially annihilating civilization, yet here we still are. Though perhaps we need to be cautious and pay heed.
Should a definitive threat to our existence from space be determined, the world’s governments need to put aside their squabbles and unite to synchronize our combined defense. Should this not be successful, plan B would be post apocalyptic organization of what would be left of life on Earth. Any such plans I believe should entertain a return to the ‘Stone Age’ scenario. This could be called ‘A New Beginning’
With all the latest technology at our disposal we still cannot predict the future with 100% certainty. We can only make predictions based on what we know, which may not be enough! Perhaps it’s better just to stick our heads in the sand or consult a local witch doctor (Dukun) to put our worried minds at rest and help us to overcome our fear of the unknown, or our fear of fear and just enjoy the moment and have a peaceful night and dream of anything but shooting stars!