Latest news reported that an asteroid will sail pretty close to our planet.
The NASA Center for NEO Studies (CNEOS) together with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced that a small asteroid is to pass near Earth in a few weeks’ time. A small asteroid which was named 2013 TX68 was discovered on October 6th, 2013, according to the Catalyna Sky Survey.
It appears the cosmic body is one of the many Near-Earth Objects (NEO) which regularly approach our planet. 2013 TX68 crossed Earth’s orbit a few years ago at a secure distance of approximately 1.3 million miles. The CNEOS said the asteroid is due to fly again by our planet between March 2nd and 6th.
Experts claim that asteroids sail close to Earth on a regular basis. According to their opinion, people have no reason to be alarmed. Nonetheless, 2013 TX68’s latest approach is said to have suffered some disturbances. It appears that its distance suffered serious variation.
Researchers suggested the asteroid will closely approach our planet on March 5th. The distance between Earth and 2013 TX68 will vary between 9 million miles and 11, 000 miles. This means there is a slight possibility the asteroid may get closer to our planet than the Moon does.
Scientists claim depending on the trajectory the distance between the asteroid and Earth may vary. They also stated it is difficult to predict an asteroid’s trajectory. There is need of further studies on 2013 TX68 as it hasn’t been tracked enough since its discovery, three years ago.
The CNEOS researchers announced the small asteroid will not have any impact on our planet. However, they believe the 2013 TX68 will approach our planet again on September 28th, 2017. It appears there is a chance of 1 in 250 million that 2013 TX68 will have an impact on Earth in 2017.
Moreover, the asteroid is expected to have two more flybys in 2046 and 2097. Experts said the possibility of an impact at these dates is even lower. The head of the CNEOS, Paul Chodas thinks:
“the possibilities of collision on any of the three future flyby dates are far too small to be of any real concern. I fully expect any future observations to reduce the probability even more. This asteroid’s orbit is quite uncertain, and it will be hard to predict where to look for it.”
The fact that an asteroid will sail pretty close to our planet this year and in the following ones gave astronomers something to look forward to.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia