Asteroid 2013 TX68…..If the lessons of the dinosaurs have taught us nothing, it’s that asteroids are better when they don’t ultimately collide with Earth. Now the nature will surely recover a large sized asteroid could conceivably destroy a large majority of human and animal life on the planet.
No danger from Asteroid 2013 TX68, but inexact science
“There is no concern whatsoever regarding this asteroid — unless you were interested in seeing it with a telescope,” Paul Chodas, manager of NASA‘s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies Propulsion Laboratory (CNEOS) said last month.
However, in that time NASA’s CNEOS has changed its estimations for how close it would fly to Earth on a number of occasions.
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The 100-foot-wide yacht-sized TX68 was projected to pass Earth sometime between March 5 and March 8 at a distance of 3 million miles. However, that number had a lot of leeway in its accuracy with NASA saying that it could be considerably closer.
“There is still a chance that it could pass closer, but certainly no closer than 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers) above Earth’s surface,” according to the space agency.
I can’t be the only person reading that thinking to myself, “I want a job where you can comfortably say 3,000,000 or 15,000 and not have to worry about it one bit.” That’s like a weatherperson’s job 70% right most 60% of the time is one of the few professions that allow for that type of results and job security at the same time.
Asteroid 2013 TX68 made its closest approach to our planet at about 7PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Monday night according to NASA spokesperson.
Asteroid 2013 TX68 – That’s quite some range NASA
This is not the first time that TX68 has passed by Earth. Roughly two years ago, TX68 cruised past Earth the comfortable distance of 1.3 million miles according to NASA.
It is scheduled to make a return in 2017, but NASA has already predicted that there’s “no more than [a] 1-in-250-million” chance that TX68 will collide with Earth during its next flyby on Sept. 28, 2017.
Which is a good thing because at 100-feet in diameter, it’s considerably bigger than the
It’s also not a small asteroid, at 100-feet across it’s considerably bigger than the asteroid of 65-feet in diameter that broke up over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013. That asteroid damaged a number of buildings while injuring over 1,000 people and, as you would imagine, Chelyabinsk, Russia is hardly a densely populated area like Hong Kong, New York, or others.
Clearly, with the Earth’s surface dominated by water, the likelihood a big city hit is minimal, but also a concern.
If an asteroid the size of 2013 TX68 were to enter Earth’s atmosphere, it would likely produce an air burst with about twice the energy of the Chelyabinsk event,” NASA said.
2017, for many (surely me), will be the last chance to see TX68 as it’s not scheduled to reappear after 2017 until 2046 and then again in 2097.
If it doesn’t kill us all first.
NASA said of the 2017 flyby that it “could impact” earth in 2017 but the odds resemble being the one winner of the recent $1 billion Powerball jackpot.
“The risk — as we understand it right now — is minimal is probably on the order of 1-in-300 million or so,” Landis said.
And for further peace of mind: “Right now — we are not tracking any asteroid or comet on a path to strike the Earth,” Landis said.
[Top Photo Credit: NASA, Via Flickr]