Saturday, October 19, 2013

NASA: Small Chance Doomsday Asteroid Will Hit Earth In 2032

PASADENA, California -- NASA scientists at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California say that the chances of a quarter-mile long asteroid smashing into Earth in 2032 are around 1 in 63,000.  To put those odds in perspective, your are 10 times more likely to be struck by lightning in your lifetime (1 in 6,250 according to the National Weather Service).


"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 NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "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." 


On September 16, 2013, Asteroid 2013 TV135 came within about 4.2 million miles (6.7 million kilometers) of the Earth and was discovered by astronomers working at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in Ukraine on October 8, 2013. 


With only a week of observations for an orbital period that spans almost four years, NASA says that the asteroid's future orbital path is still quite uncertain, but that it could be back in Earth's neighborhood in 2032. 


If the asteroid were predicted to hit the Earth, NASA has plans for a monster rocket that would deflect apocalyptic asteroids. 


Earlier this year, NASA predicted that an asteroid would not hit the Earth.  By sheer coincidence, NASA predicted that one large asteroid would not hit Earth on January 11 when an unrelated giant meteor came crashing into Russia.