All is under control as asteroid 2013 TX68 inches closer to Earth for a flyby estimated to take place on March 5th. 2013 TX68 is about the size of a basketball court if NASA’s estimation is correct.
However, as the near-Earth-object was only discovered in 2013 (thus its name), the details concerning this body remain somewhat blurry. NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office keeps tracking 2013 TX68. Still, there’s plenty of work to be done as the Planetary Defense Coordination Office was only recently tasked by the U.S. Congress with finding every near-Earth-object in sight.
Asteroid 2013 TX68 may near Earth on March 5th. The distance remains unknown. Provided one of the scenarios plays out and the near-Earth-object flies by at only 11,000 miles, get your telescopes ready. Be warned that a second trajectory may take 2013 TX68 at a 9-million-miles distance from Earth. Perhaps the 2017 flyby brings better visibility for all enthusiasts out there.
As the asteroid’s flyby has enthusiasts jumping up and down with excitement, NASA announced that all is under control as asteroid 2013 TX68 inches closer to Earth. The March 5th flyby holds no unpleasant surprises. The near-Earth object has no chance of colliding with our home planet. Neither of the two trajectories calculated by the NASA scientific team sees 2013 TX68 getting sufficiently close to Earth to pose any concern.
The Planetary Defense Coordination Office rests assured this time around. As for the asteroid’s flyby in 2017, the scientific team calculated a slight chance of 1 in 250 million that 2013 TX68 hits Earth. Considering this near-Earth-object is significantly larger than the one that hit the Russian Chelyabinsk, the potential damage it could inflict is slightly disturbing.
Yet, the March 5th flyby doesn’t hold any potential surprises of this sort. With millions of unclassified, even undiscovered near-Earth-objects hurdling through space as we speak, close-encounters aren’t excluded. More specific details concerning the March 5th flyby will be released as the date draws closer.
The 100-feet large 2013 TX68 would explode with twice the force that of the near-Earth-object which exploded over the Russian Chelyabinsk. A large asteroid exploding in the atmosphere could send acid rain on Earth, damaging plant life and not only. Impact debris could also block sunlight for a given period of time.
Nonetheless, according to NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination office, none of the near-Earth-objects currently tracked pose any threat of collision.