Asteroid 2013 TX68 – A close call ?

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It looks like we are in for a close call with an Asteroid yet again. This seems to be an increasingly frequent event and shows just how good we are getting at detecting these threats from space. It was only back 3 years ago that we had the unexpected explosion in our atmosphere of the Meteor over Chelyabinsk in Russia which I wrote about back in 2013.
The impact of the Chelyabinsk meteor was significant and this one is twice the size, so lets hope the scientists have got it right and it does not impact. It has been said though that there is an extremely slim chance that it could impact in 2017 ( 250Million to 1!)
The image below show the possible pass locations for the asteroid. You can see that the higher probability is that it will be closer, rather than further away.
asteroid20160202-16 Click to enlarge.
To Quote JPL:
A small asteroid that two years ago flew past Earth at a comfortable distance of about 1.3 million miles (2 million kilometers) will safely fly by our planet again in a few weeks, though this time it may be much closer.
During the upcoming March 5 flyby, asteroid 2013 TX68 could fly past Earth as far out as 9 million miles (14 million kilometers) or as close as 11,000 miles (17,000 kilometers). The variation in possible closest approach distances is due to the wide range of possible trajectories for this object, since it was tracked for only a short time after discovery.
What I really hope is that the orbit will be further refined and with a bit of luck it will be visible in our night skies !
Stay tuned to NightSkySecrets for updates.
 

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