Skip to comments.100-Foot Asteroid to Buzz Earth Next Month
Posted on 02/06/2016 2:42:17 AM PST by LibWhacker
An asteroid as long as a basketball court will give Earth a close shave next month â though scientists arenât sure just how close.
The near-Earth asteroid 2013 TX68, which is thought to be about 100 feet (30 meters) in diameter, will zoom past our planet on March 5. The space rock could come as close as 11,000 miles (17,700 kilometers) â less than 5 percent of the distance from Earth to the moon â or stay up to 9 million miles (14.5 million km) away during the flyby, NASA officials said.
âThe variation in possible closest-approach distances is due to the wide range of possible trajectories for this object, since it was tracked for only a short time after discovery,â NASA officials wrote in a statement Wednesday (Feb. 3).
There is no danger that 2013 TX68, which was first spotted in October 2013, will collide with Earth on this pass, researchers said. However, there is an extremely slight chance â less than 1 in 250 million â of an impact on Sept. 28, 2017, and even lower odds during flybys in 2046 and 2097.
âThe possibilities of collision on any of the three future flyby dates are far too small to be of any real concern,â Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for NEO Studies at NASAâs Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in the same statement. âI fully expect any future observations to reduce the probability even more.â
Just two years ago, 2013 TX68 flew by Earth, at a distance of 1.3 million miles (2 million km).
Scientists think the near-Earth object that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February, damaging buildings and injuring more than 1,000 people, measured about 65 feet (20 m) across. If 2013 TX68 or another asteroid of its size were to slam into Earth, it would probably explode in an airburst about twice as energetic as the Chelyabinsk event, NASA officials said.
If their distance varies from 9 million miles to 11000 miles, the 11,000 miles is only a tenth of a percent of that range. Not to be a panic monger, but 0.1% of the range given, when they don’t know where it will go is a real comfort.
Nearly every object in the solar system is covered with craters. Processes on the Earth have erased most of its craters over time. Here comes another one.
Kind of amazing they haven’t been able to narrow its orbit down more precisely than that in two years’ of observation.
It’s not as if we could stop it anyway. This is one reason we need an actual space program instead of piddling around in low earth orbit. Does anyone even know what astronauts do in space anymore? Apparently nothing news worthy.
Last I checked, they have not reacquired the asteroid. Watch the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNh85GXFX0E
Thank you. Watched it.
Well that’s... useful.
Lol, he didn’t take long.
What this gobbledegook means in fact is that NASA hasn’t a clue what the thing is going to do.
Hot Fudge Saturdae!
Hope it lands on the White Hut
I wonder how they can say that, when the range of possible trajectories is between 11,000 and 9 million miles from Earth. That is a pretty huge range--is that a confidence interval, or is that a standard error or deviation in measurement? Either way, that huge range does not tell me that the chance of it colliding with Earth is negligible.
Maybe it will hit a piece of space junk, which will deflect it enough to avoid entering the atmosphere.
I'm a biochemist, not an astrophysicist, so I have no idea how they make those calculations or the assumptions behind them.
They could use a tractor beam if the asteroid is a problem.
Dr. Evil: Our early attempts at a tractor beam went through several preparations. Preparations A through G were a complete failure. But now, ladies and gentlemen, we finally have a working tractor beam, which we shall call... Preparation H!!
boys will be boys.
It will only get as close as 11,000 miles, give or take a few million.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.