Washington, Oct 21 (): A newly discovered asteroid that zipped close by Earth last month will likely return in 2032, but the chances that it will hit our planet are very slim — just 1 in 63,000 — NASA has said.
The asteroid 2013 TV135 made a close approach to Earth on September 16, when it came within about 6.7 million kilometres – a distance more than 15 times as far away from Earth as the moon.
On Thursday, reports said that there is a chance the 1,300-foot-wide asteroid could strike our planet in less than 20 years. Such an impact could produce a force as powerful as a couple of thousand atomic bombs. The impact would create 2,500 megatons of TNT energy, enough to cause damage to all living things on the planet.
But, NASA clarified the fears caused by such a news. It said even the most dangerous known asteroids do not really pose much of a threat. Also, the chances that this asteroid, which the Ukrainian astronomers who discovered it named 2013 TV135, will collide with Earth are extremely slim, NASA said in a statement.
The space agency is 99.998% certain that when it rustles back around the planet in 2032, it will simply sail past the Earth again. It also added that the chance this asteroid could then impact Earth is only one in 63,000.
The asteroid 2013 TV135 was discovered on October 8, 2013 by astronomers working at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in Ukraine. As of October 14, asteroid 2013 TV135 is one of 10,332 near-Earth objects that have been discovered.
On February 15 this year, asteroid 2012 DA14, which measured 150 feet wide, slid in below the orbit of the moon and passed our planet just 17,200 miles from its surface.
Scientists say it is possible that the impact of an asteroid over six miles wide wiped out dinosaurs along with much of the life on Earth 65 million years ago.