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Newly discovered asteroid flies past Earth

Asteroid made a "close" approach to planet but there is next to no risk of it hitting.

Last Modified: 18 Oct 2013 22:49
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The asteroid known as 2013 TV135 came within 6.7m kilometres of Earth [Image courtesy: NASA]

A newly discovered asteroid flew "close" to Earth this week and is likely to return in 2032, NASA has said.

However, the US space agency added there was almost no risk of the 410m-wide rock hitting the planet.

The asteroid known as 2013 TV135 came within 6.7m kilometres of Earth on September 16, astronomers at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in Ukraine found.

Although that distance is more than 17 times the distance to the moon, any asteroid that passes closer than 7.5m kilometres is automatically termed "potentially hazardous". Experts know of about 10,000 such objects in the solar system.

Astronomers believe TV135's orbit will bring it back "near" Earth in 2032, but the probability of it hitting the planet is only one in 63,000, they calculated.

"To put it another way, that puts the current probability of no impact in 2032 at about 99.998 percent," said Don Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Programme Office.

Yeomans continued: "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."

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Source:
Reuters
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