Basketball court-sized asteroid will pass near Earth on the 8th

Do you know those stories about the end of the world? We'll have one more to tell: Next week, between the 5th and 8th, a 30-meter-diameter asteroid will pass near Earth, but scientists say there is no cause for concern.

By the way, “close” is a way of saying: the asteroid, called 2013 TX68, will pass 5 million kilometers from our planet, 13 times farther from Earth to the moon. It may seem quite (and indeed is), but the first estimates were that the object would pass to a mere 24 thousand kilometers from here.

If even so close it might not have been so easy to see in a telescope, experts now explain that this is far more complicated. “Because of the distance, it will be much darker than previously thought, ” explains Paul Chodas of NASA's observatory studying objects near Earth.

Asteroid will pass relatively close to Earth

The great divergence between expectation and reality is due to the fact that the asteroid was discovered only in 2013, and it is difficult to predict its exact trajectory precisely because it was not previously located or followed its evolutionary process. Even then, it was 1.5 million kilometers from Earth - even closer than estimates for next week.

Despite passing much further than expected, this asteroid is noteworthy precisely because it was slow to be discovered. It will approach Earth again in September 2017 - but the chances of impacting us will be only 1 in 250 million. Ufa!


What would you do if an asteroid were to collide with the earth and destroy our planet? Comment on the Mega Curious Forum