Ukranian Astronomers Predict Potential Asteroid Collision with Earth
NASA Says Possibility of Asteroid Hit is Slim
A 410-meter-wide asteroid could collide with Earth in 2032, according to astronomers at the Crimean Astrophyscial Observatory in southern Ukraine, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.
Discovery of the asteroid, named 2013 TV135, was confirmed by astronomers in Italy, Spain, the UK and Russia's Siberian republic of Buryatia, according to the report.
The discovery is a warning for scientists to make progress on asteroid defense systems, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rozogin.
Like Us on Facebook
"Here's a super-task for our space industry," Rozogin said of the asteroid in a twitter message last week.
NASA scientists aren't sounding the alarm, noting the short time the asteroid has been tracked in the NASA-produced "Asteroid 2103 TV135 - A Reality Check" posted on the website of its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
There's only a slim chance - 1-in - 63,000 - of the asteroid hitting Earth, according to NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office, which said the asteroid was discovered by the astronomers at the Crimean observatory on Oct. 8 and was determined to be the one that made a close approach to Earth on Sept.16, when it came within about 4.2 million miles of our planet.
"To put it another way, that puts the current probability of no impact in 2032 at about 99.998 percent," said Don Yeomans, manager of the Near-Earth Object Program Office. "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 newly discovered asteroid 2013 TV135 is one of 10,332 near-Earth objects that have been discovered, according to NASA.
The Near-Earth Object Observations Program Office, commonly called "Spaceguard," discovers and tracks asteroids and comets passing close to Earth using ground and space-based telescopes.
Should 2013 TV135 collide with Earth, it would create an explosion estimated to be equivalent to 2,500 megatons of TNT - 50 times greater than the biggest nuclear bomb ever detonated, according to the RIA Novosti press release.
NASA has rated 2013 TV135 as a level one threat, the lowest rating on the Torino impact hazard scale, making it one of only two bodies yet found that may threaten Earth, according to website of the U.K.'s The Register. .
The other asteroid rated by NASA on the Torino scale as a level one threat is VK184, discovered in 2007. That has a 1-in-1820 chance of hitting Earth on June 3, 2048, but it's much smaller at 130 meters, The Register reported.
© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.