Hard hats at the ready because an asteroid is going to fly past Ground on March 5, 2015, and while theres basically no chance of it hitting us, it will come remarkably close to our planet.
Asteroid 2013 TX68 will swing by at a distance of between 14 million kilometers( 9 million miles) and 17,000 kilometers( 11,000 miles) which is lower than the orbit of geostationary satellites. Its pretty unlikely itll reached anything in orbit as it sails by, though.
The asteroid has only been tracked for a few years, which is why there is such a large range of uncertainty in the distance from Ground it will fly past, as its exact orbital parameters arent known. Nonetheless, astronomers have been able to essentially rule out the chance of an impact, either now or on future flybys.
When the asteroid swingings back around on September 28, 2017, it will have a one in 250 million opportunity of hitting us, while farther flybys in 2046 and 2097 have even lower chances of an impact. “The possibilities of crash on any of the three future flyby dates are far too small to be of any real concern, ” said Paul Chodas, manager of NASAs Center for NEO Studies( CNEOS) in California, in a statement. “I fully expect any future observations to reduce the likelihood even more.”
Shown are the possible phases of closest approach for the asteroid.NASA/ JPL-Caltech
The asteroid is about twice the size of the Chelyabinsk meteorthat explosion over Russia in February 2013, measuring approximately 30 meters( 100 feet) in diameter. If it did somehow enter the ambiance, NASA said it would render an airburst of about twice the energy as Chelyabinsk, which smashed windows and injured hundreds in Russia.
While were safe on this occasion, this asteroid does highlight the growing need for us to track near-Earth objects, and to have suitable defenses ready in case one is on a collision course. NASA lately set up a new asteroid defense office to better way hazardous asteroids, and there are a number of plans in the works some employing nuclear explosions to deflect an asteroid, if we ever need to.
For now though, you are able to rest easy.