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    Will an asteroid collide with Earth in the near future?

    Thursday, October 27, 2011 Last Updated 2019-10-23T13:46:51Z
    As we move into 2012, astronomers have located a collection of near-Earth asteroids that may pose a future threat. 2011 AG5 is a near-Earth asteroid and potentially hazardous object.

    It was discovered on January 8, 2011, by the Mt. Lemmon Observatory, which is located near Tucson, Arizona.

    The object has a diameter of about 140 meters (460 feet) and is noted for a potential close approach to Earth in the year 2040. In fact, the asteroid has a 1 in 625 chance of impacting Earth between the years of 2040 and 2047.

    It has been estimated that if an asteroid the size of 2011 AG5 was to hit Earth, the explosion would produce a major event equivalent to 100 megatons of TNT.

    2007 VK184 is an asteroid with a rating on the Torino Scale of Level 1. 2007 VK184 and 2011 AG5 are currently the only near-Earth objects to be listed above Level 0 for potential impacts within 100 years.

    The object was discovered on November 12, 2007, by the Catalina Sky Survey. 2007 VK184 has a 1 in 1,820 chance of hitting Earth during June 2048.

    It is estimated that the asteroid has a diameter of 130 meters (426 feet), and travels through space with a speed of 15.63 km/s relative to the Earth.Most recently, on February 23, 2012, an asteroid named 2012 DA14 was discovered by the OAM Observatory, La Sagra in Spain.

    Calculations show that on February 15, 2013, the distance between 2012 DA14 and Earth will be only 27,000 km (17,000 mi), which is closer than most orbiting satellites. The diameter of 2012 DA14 is about 44 meters (144 feet), and it has been estimated that an impact with the asteroid would produce an explosion similar to the 1908 Tunguska event.

    Currently, 2012 DA14 rates 0 (No Hazard) on the Torino scale, but the asteroid has showed signs of a potential impact (1 in 83,000) in 2020. Scientists are currently interested in the asteroid’s orbit, which is not fully understood. For the most part, as we enter the middle of 2012, it appears that humanity has no immediate threat from a near-Earth asteroid. However, we always need to keep our eyes on the sky.


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