US News 'Damn close' asteroid due to speed past Earth

00:55  11 august  2017
00:55  11 august  2017 Source:   Sky News

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A team of astronomers have calculated that the Apophis asteroid will speed past Earth on April 13, 2029, at just 18,600 miles away – which is less “ Due to a close but non-impacting pass by the Earth , there are numerous possible impact trajectories beyond that, but all are of very low probability,” Harris

Despite being closer than the moon's orbit, the astronomers predict that the asteroid travelling at a speed of 14.85 km/s (32,076 mph) poses no real threat to the Earthlings. The Apollo class asteroid is a NEO, near- Earth - asteroid .

ESO / ESA NEOCC / O. Hainaut (ESO), M. Micheli (ESA) & D. Koschny (ESA), © Other ESO / ESA NEOCC / O. Hainaut (ESO), M. Micheli (ESA) & D. Koschny (ESA),

A house-sized asteroid due to pass Earth in October is currently "damn close", the European Space Agency says.

The asteroid is forecast to speed inside the moon's orbit at 27,300 miles (43,935km) - an eighth of the distance between the Earth and the moon.

The ESA says it is far enough to just miss our geostationary satellites orbiting at about 22,000 miles (35,405km).

"It will not hit the Earth, that's the most important thing to say," said Detlef Koschny of ESA's near-Earth object research team.

The small asteroid, about 15-30m long (49-98ft), has been dubbed TC4.

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An asteroid measuring up to 45ft in diameter is set to speed past Earth at a distance of 162,000 miles just days NEA 2017 BX is the second house-sized object to come close to Earth in just three weeks - Asteroid 2017 AG13 Alaska is at high tsunami risk due to structure discovered beneath sea floor.

NASA has offered a sneak peek at an asteroid that will speed by Earth on Christmas Eve. The 2018 flyby will be the closest that the asteroid will get to Earth until 2070, when it is expected to safely fly past our planet at a distance of about 1.7 million miles.

It first passed Earth in October 2012 at double the distance, before disappearing.

The original observations revealed its next approach would be in October 2017, but its orbit meant it could not be tracked.

However, the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, in Chile, has now located the rock and determined its distance.

"It's damn close... this is indeed a close miss," said Rolf Densing, who heads the European Space Operations Centre in Germany.

"As close as it is right now, I think this prediction is pretty safe... meaning that it will miss."

The ESA said the asteroid's pass is an excellent opportunity to assess man's ability to respond to a "real asteroid threat".

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