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Big Asteroid Might Pass Near Earth

An asteroid is planetary mass object that travels through space at incredible speeds.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – According to NASA a big asteroid might pass near Earth next month. But don’t go calling Bruce Willis just yet, it seems that the 100-foot rock trajectory will not intertwine with our planet’s position. But the asteroid will be visible to the naked eye, the National Aeronautics Space Agency says.

The space rock was first spotted by the scientists in 2013. According to the researchers at the NASA’s Pasadena Laboratory of Jet Propulsion in California, the asteroid might get as close as 17,100 kilometers (11,000 miles) from Earth’s surface somewhere around March 5th.

The distance sounds big, but the asteroid will actually come closer to our planet than most of our artificial communications satellites that orbit our planet. The distance is equivalent to the 20th part of the distance between us and the Moon.

But you better brush up your telescope if you really want to see the 2013 TX68, because its trajectory is somewhat erratic and it could end flying by us from as far as 14 million kilometers (9 million miles) away. The good news is that all of the simulations predicted that the asteroid might venture off further, and there is no collision risk, whatsoever.

The manager from the office of Studies of Near-Earth Objects at NASA, Paul Chodas, says that the asteroid was visible in 2013 when it last approached Earth for as long as three days before passing into the daytime skies and losing its trace. For this year, he finds it hard to offer a prediction on where exactly people should look in order to see it.

The next time the 2013 TX68 will pass near our planet will be on the 28th of September 2017, and NASA has calculated that there is one chance in 250 million of an impact between the asteroid and Earth. But it is very likely that future observances of the object will reduce the probabilities.

According to Chodas, the next three visits of the asteroid will pose no danger to our planet as its trajectory will avoid our position.

The last time when an asteroid actually impacted with Earth’s surface was in 2013. Then object was half the size of the 2013 TX68 and it landed in a remote Russian area, Chelyabinsk. Even though the area was largely unoccupied, the Russian authorities reported around 1000 injured individuals.

If the 2013 TX68 will ever hit us, the predictions are far worse than in the Chelyabinsk incident. The explosion could be twice as powerful, and the number of injured people would greatly depend on the area in which the asteroid falls.

So it seems we might actually have to call Bruce Willis after all.

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