We’ve recently passed the Mayan Apocalypse of December 21, 2012 and yet another apocalyptic news came in as an asteroid threatens the planet Earth in 2040.
Since last year, scientists keep their eyes on Asteroid known as 2011 AG5 fearing that it might possibly hit Earth in 2040. That’s 28 years from now. Good thing that the recent studies of NASA says that the asteroid is no longer a threat to us here at Earth.
NASA scientists first spotted the asteroid described to be 460-foot wide last year when doing a project called Catalina Sky Survey at the University of Arizona. The project aims to find new comets and asteroids in the solar space especially those that could potentially harm our planet Earth. Their initial monitor revealed that the asteroid’s orbital path had an estimated 1-in-500 chance of hitting Earth.
However, a second study done by astronomers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa using a Gemini 8-meter telescope in Mauna Kea revealed that the asteroid will not get any closer than 550,000 miles (890,000 kilometers) when it passes Earth in 2040. CNN reported that is twice the distance between the earth and the moon.
“An analysis of the new data conducted by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, shows that the risk of collision in 2040 has been eliminated,” NASA said.
Despite the elimination of a possible threat, NASA called on other organizations to assist them on the study of the asteroid since the asteroid’s path was difficult to observe.
“While there is general consensus there is only a very small chance that we could be dealing with a real impact scenario for this object, we will still be watchful and ready to take further action if additional observations indicate it is warranted,” Lindley Johnson, program executive for the Near-Earth Object (NEO) Observation Program at NASA’s headquarters in Washington said.
Wondering how huge will be the damage of an asteroid impact here on Earth? Just imagine an explosion carrying about 100 megatons of energy, several thousand times stronger than the atomic bombs that closed out World War II.
It has been widely known that an asteroid impact caused the extinction of dinosaurs millions of years ago. Even the possible asteroid impact on Earth is still 28 years from now in 2040, we should really be praying that no such phenomenon will be happening on us.