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post in: Songs, Films Date:16 Nov 2012, 00:20 views:1913
Armageddonists around the world are breathing a lopez sigh of relief, after it was confirmed that an asteroid heading towards the Earth passed by safely on Monday. According to the, minor Planet Center, which describes itself as the "nerve centre" of asteroid detection in the solar system, asteroid 2013 TX68's closest approach occurred on at 13:42 GMT on The asteroid passed the Earth at a distance of 2,542,960 miles (about 10 times.
This is lopez well outside the ring of geostationary communications and GPS satellites stationed 22,300 miles above sea level. In the days leading up to this flyby by asteroid 2013 TX68 - nicknamed the "B2Bomber" because of its size - astronomers were highly uncertain how close the asteroid would come.
They were confident that it would not strike Earth, but the most recent estimate indicated a probable distance of 3,104,591 miles (4,996,355 km). However, the space rock might have passed as close as 19,000 miles (30,000 km) or as far as 10,722,990 miles (17,256,980 km). Astronomers at nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said the uncertainty was due to the wide range of possible trajectories for the asteroid, which was tracked for only a short time after its discovery in 2013.
The asteroid was also hidden by the sun's glare, which made it very difficult to track accurately. Despite our lucky escape, some internet doom-mongers still believe the flyby of B2Bomber could herald the end of the world, because its arrival coincides with two grim portents. Tonight, the moon will appear much larger than usual as it reaches the closest point of its journey around Earth.
There will also be a total solar eclipse, caused by the moon passing in front of the sun, blocking out its light. Read More, solar Eclipse 2017, when is the next UK solar eclipse? August solar eclipse as it happened.
When was the last solar eclipse? Best photos of the solar eclipse.
As for asteroid 2013 TX68, it will continue its orbit around the Sun, and will pass the Earth again on 28 September 2017, when nasa says the odds of a collision are "no more than 1-in-250-million". "The possibilities of collision on any of the three future flyby dates are far too small to be of any real concern said Paul Chodas, manager of nasa's Center for near earth orbit studies.
"I fully expect any future observations to reduce the probability even more.". However, astronomers cannot precisely predict its movements and have given it a "condition code" of eight out of a possible. If it did hit the planet, the asteroid would probably explode in the atmosphere, unleashing as much energy as a powerful nuclear bomb and wiping out anything unlucky enough to be beneath.