NASA responds to claims that the “missing” asteroid 2007 FT3 will collide with Earth in 2024

Many media outlets have reported that Earth may collide with a “missing” asteroid this year. According to reports, if asteroid 2007 FT3 hits Earth, it will do so with an energy equivalent to 2.6 billion tons of TNT. NASA has lost track of its path, and it has a chance of hitting the planet on October 5, 2024. Given that, by all accounts (if we use a technical term ) “Not great”, so what's really going on?

Well, 2007 FT3 is Real asteroidIt was first spotted in 2007 and is on NASA's radar Custody risk table Of the objects that are likely to impact the Earth. him too “Lost“The asteroid, as just seen 1.2 days Before it disappeared from NASA's sight. Although the 314-meter (1,030-foot) asteroid became very faint and has not been seen since, it was observed at 14 points in its arc during those two days, which allowed astronomers to calculate its orbit and look for possible collisions between Earth and Earth. . Thus, NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies determined 89 potential impactsincluding one on October 5, 2024.

Although this may seem a bit annoying, there is really nothing to worry about. One of the possible impact points, or where the asteroid was supposed to be closest to Earth, occurred in 2019. As you may have noticed, that did not happen. NASA and other observatories track the orbits of objects detected in the solar system, especially keeping an eye on “near-Earth objects” 140 meters (460 feet) or larger that could cause devastation if their paths crossed Earth. So far, astronomers have been able to predict the orbits of known objects up to about 100 years in the future. The good news is that “no known asteroid larger than 140 meters has a significant chance of hitting Earth within the next 100 years,” according to Reuters. NASA.

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In response specifically to the allegations about the 2007 FT3, NASA reiterated its response.

“There are no known threats of asteroid impacts on Earth at any time in the next century. NASA and its partners diligently monitor the skies to find, track and classify asteroids and near-Earth objects, including those that may come close to Earth,” a NASA spokesperson said. Standard.

“An important note here is that planetary scientists define the approaches of asteroids that come within 30 million miles of Earth's orbit as close approaches. The larger the asteroid, the easier it is for planetary defense experts to find it, which means its orbits around the Sun are usually… Well known and understood for years or even decades.

If 2007 FT3 is found again in sky surveys or by astronomers trying to track its path, we could learn more about its orbit, and perhaps that would be enough to remove it from the list of possible collisions with Earth, or in the unlikely event that it should. On our way, we prepare a mission to avoid this.

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