An Asteroid Will Soon Fly Past Our Planet

An asteroid will soon fly past our planet, but the chances of an impact are small.

It has been reported that an asteroid will soon fly past our planet for a second time. Named 2013 TX68, the flying object has already safely passed by Earth two years ago at a distance of 1.3 million miles or two million kilometers.

However, this year the asteroid will come much closer to our planet. The distance can only be estimated at the moment, somewhere between nine million miles (14 million kilometers) and eleven thousand miles (17,000 kilometers). The asteroid was tracked only recently and thus there are still lots of possibilities for its trajectory. The 2013 TX68 will fly past Earth on March 5.

Fortunately, there is absolutely no risk of this object to hit our planet or provoke disasters, as the scientists from the NEO Studies Center of NASA have determined at the Pasadena Jet Propulsion Laboratory. However, since the possibilities are endless, they also believe there is a slight possibility of an impact when the asteroid will return in 2017, more precisely on September 28. The odds are one in 250 million. The next flybys will occur in 2046 and 2097 but the odds of an impact will be even smaller.

The manager of the Center for NEO Studies of NASA, Paul Chodas, has declared that those three possibilities of collision are too small to present any real concern. Furthermore, he expects future observations to be even less probable for producing a true impact.

The asteroid has a diameter of about 100 feet or 30 meters. In the unlikely event of it entering our atmosphere, it would probably produce an air burst two times bigger than the one caused by the 65 feet (20 meters) asteroid that burst over Chelyabinsk, Russia.

2013 TX68 was first discovered in 2013 by Catalina Sky Survey which is funded by NASA. They managed to track the object for three days before it passed in the daytime sky and thus became invisible. As a result, scientists cannot be sure of its orbit around the sun.

Chodas hopes that this time they will manage to gather more information on the 2013 TX68, since the asteroid search telescopes might be able to provide more data.

An asteroid will soon fly past our planet, but NASA has information for the five next approaches to Earth. The information is available on the Center for NEO Studies website, and can be accessed by both scientists and all interested in observing the trajectories of various NEOs.

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