Friday, October 18, 2013

Ukrainian Astronomers Discover Asteroid Heading to the Earth in 2032

An asteroid that could hit Earth with the power of 2,500 nuclear bombs flew close to the planet on September 16.
Last night, Ukrainian astronomers said there is a chance it could come even closer and strike our planet on August 26, 2032.
Nasa has attempted to calm nerves by issuing a 'a reality check', which highlights that the probability of an Earth impact is only one in 63,000.

That means astronomers are 99.9984 per cent certain that it will miss Earth's orbit. Crimean Astrophysical Observatory found the massive asteroid, called 2013 TV135, last weekend and the international scientific community has already rated it as one of the two most dangerous asteroids ever recorded.
The asteroid is initially estimated to be about 1,300 feet (400 meters) in size and its orbit carries it as far out as about three quarters of the distance to Jupiter's orbit and as close to the sun as Earth's orbit.
Will The World End In 2032? Astronomers Discover Massive Asteroid Heading to the Earth
Massive: The asteroid would strike with 2,500megatons of explosive force, enough to create damage within a 100,000 square-mile radius. (Blast location for illustrative purposes only)
As of October 14, asteroid 2013 TV135 is one of 10,332 near-Earth objects that have been discovered. Scientists have given it a danger rating of 1 out of 10 on the Torino Scale. Only one other asteroid has been given a rating of 1.
The risk for all others has been judged 0, negligible. The effects of an impact would be catastrophic, especially if it struck a populated area. If 2013 TV135 were to collide with Earth, it is estimated to impact with 2,500 megatons of explosive power.
The standard U.S. Minute Man II missiles carries a nuclear warhead with an explosive power of a little over 1 megaton. But Nasa said that with only a week of observations for an orbital period that spans almost four years, its future orbital path is 'still quite uncertain.'
The space agency expects the object to be easily observable in the coming months, and will be using the Minor Planet Centre in Cambridge, Massachusetts to improve calculations.
Will The World End In 2032? Astronomers Discover Massive Asteroid Heading to the Earth
The asteroid was discovered by astronomers at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory and later confirmed by scientists as observatories in Spain, Italy and Siberia, Russia
It said the most likely result will be a dramatic reduction, or complete elimination, of any risk of Earth impact.
"To put it another way, that puts the current probability of no impact in 2032 at about 99.998 per cent," said Don Yeomans, manager of Nasa’s Near-Earth Object Programme Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
"This is a relatively new discovery. With more observations, I fully expect we will be able to significantly reduce, or rule out entirely, any impact probability for the foreseeable future."
The asteroid is much smaller than the interplanetary object that hit Earth and killed off the dinosaurs 65million years ago. Currently, 2007 VK184 is believed to have the best chance of striking Earth.
The 420-foot-wide object is said to have a 1 in 2700 chance of making contact with the planet in 2048. It is the only other asteroid to have a 1 rating on the Torino Scale.

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