Small Chance Big Asteroid Could Hit Earth in 2032

Chance of impact a low 1 in 63,000
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2013 8:50 AM CDT
Small Chance Big Asteroid Could Hit Earth in 2032
This Dec.1968 image released by NASA shows the Earth, and was taken during the Apollo VIII mission.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center)

As far as chances go, it's a lot more likely that an asteroid named 2013 TV135 will smash into our planet in 2032 than it is that you'll win Powerball. But before you panic, know that the chances are still quite slim: one in 63,000; NASA says it is 99.998% positive the asteroid will fly by us. It has already done so once: Ukrainian astronomers say the 1,345-foot asteroid came within 4.2 million miles of Earth on Sept. 16, but will come within one million miles on Aug. 26, 2032, CNN reports.

But if it did hit, the impact would cause an explosion "50 times greater than the most powerful nuclear bomb ever used," the Telegraph reports. NASA's Don Yeomans notes that "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." In the meantime, RT News points out 2013 TV135 has a danger rating of one on the Torino Impact Hazard Scale (which runs to 10), meaning there is "no cause for public attention or concern." Of course, it notes that only one asteroid currently has that rating; the rest are at zero. (In related news, scientists have spotted the remains of a water-rich asteroid orbiting a dying star about 170 light-years from Earth, and that has fascinating implications.)

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