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Mb0039 Solved Assignment 2013 Tx68

Back in February, NASA announced that an asteroid was going to shoot across the sky on March 5 — and that it'd come close enough to actually see through a backyard telescope.

However, the space agency just revised its calculations. It now expects the rogue space rock to swing by a few days later on March 8 and, to the disappointment of avid skywatchers, it probably won't come close enough to see.

More importantly: No, it's not going to hit us, but there's a chance it could come tantalizingly close to faking us out.

The rock in question is asteroid 2013 TX68, which swooped within 1.3 million miles of our home planet two years ago. It's coming back again in its orbit around the sun, and this time it might come much, much closer to Earth.

How close? That's hard to say, since astronomers had a limited time to track the rock after its discovery in October 2013.

Previous calculations suggested it would swing as close as 11,000 miles from Earth or as far as 9 million miles away. But more recent number-crunching suggests it will likely pass within about 3 million miles of Earth.

NASA says "there is no possibility" it will impact Earth this time, though there's a slim chance it could come within 15,000 miles from our planet — 16 times closer than the moon is to the earth, and 50% closer than many communications satellites.

But again, the odds are stacked against the closer pass.

"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," Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies said in a press release.

Here is the asteroid's updated trajectory:

Asteroid 2013 TX68 measures about 100 feet in diameter, or roughly the size of an airplane, and it's slated to pay us another visit next year on September 28, 2017.

NASA previously said that there is a small chance that it could hit us at that time (about 1 in 250 million — the same odds of being killed by a falling coconut). Yet their new calculations say that it "cannot impact Earth" in the next 100 years.

One more thing: Though this asteroid no longer seems to pose a threat to humanity, there are many nefarious objects lurking out there that could level a city or worse. And, as of right now, we have little chance of detecting a smaller yet dangerous near-earth object (NEO) until it's too late.

The problem is so dire NASA recently opened a new office to help coordinate efforts to protect the Earth.

If you're curious about the stats on all of the NEO flybys we do know about, check out NASA's Near Earth Object Program page here.

Sky watchers take note: An asteroid is going to shoot across the sky on March 5, 2016 — and it may come close enough that you can actually see it with a telescope.

Before you panic: no, it's not going to hit us— though it's going to come tantalizingly close.

The rock in question is asteroid 2013 TX68, which swooped by Earth at a safe 1.3 million miles away two years ago. It is now slated to fly by our planet again in a few weeks as it's been locked in an orbit around the sun — though this time it may come much, much closer to Earth.

How close? That's hard to say, given that we've only had a limited time to track this rocky space object since we discovered it back in October, 2013.

And while NASA isn't quite sure of the rock's trajectory — it could swing as close as 11,000 miles from Earth or as far as 9 million miles away — they say that "there is no possibility" that it will impact Earth this time around.

That's great, for now.

Asteroid 2013 TX68 — which measures about 100 feet in diameter, the size of an airplane— is slated to pay us another visit on September 28, 2017. At that time, NASA predicts, there is in fact a chance that it could hit us.

Though the chance of that happening is small — about 1 in 250 million — the same odds of being killed by a falling coconut.

Here is a graphical representation of the potential paths asteroid 2013 TX68 could take at the time of its closest approach on March 5. At its furthest, it could speed by at a distant 9 million miles away, which you can see on the left of the graphic. This would be too far away to see with a telescope.

But if it does come within 11,000 miles of Earth, as sketched out on the right side of the graphic, avid skywatchers just may be able to check out this speedy piece of space debris.

Asteroid flybys happen all the time. If you're curious about the stats on all of them, check out NASA's Near Earth Object Program page here.

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