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An asteroid that has been considered lost for 16 years is heading for Earth: NASA estimates the chances of a collision

Dmytro IvancheskulNews
There are currently more than 32,000 near-Earth asteroids known

In October 2024, the "lost" asteroid 2007 FT3 will make its closest approach to Earth. Scientists suggest that there is a possibility that a collision will occur. But the likelihood of such a scenario, according to NASA, is quite small.

As WION writes, the 341-meter asteroid 2007 FT3 was first spotted during observations in 2007 (the date is associated with its name). Back then, scientists had very little time to study it, as its arc of observation was only 1.2 days.

After this short period of observation, the asteroid disappeared into space, and for a long time it was considered lost. But now it has returned and is on its way to meet the Earth. But there is probably no need to panic.

According to NASA, there is a rather low probability that the asteroid will collide with our planet. Scientists estimate the probability of such a development as 0.0000087% (or 1 in 11,000,000).

Despite the fact that some media outlets are already reporting a high probability of a collision, it is obvious that this is not the case.

The closest the asteroid will come to Earth is approximately October 3, 2024. By that time, it will be clear whether the asteroid will use its meager chance to surprise humanity.

According to other sources, the closest approach of the asteroid to Earth in 2024 will not be in October, but closer to December, when it will be at a distance of about 1 AU from the Earth (the same distance as from the Sun to the Earth). But the error in the trajectory of this asteroid can reach hundreds of millions of kilometers.

Subsequently, the asteroid 2007 FT3 will approach the Earth in October 2025, but the chances of a collision will be even lower - 0.00000026% (or 1 in 380,000,000). Of course, these will not be its last encounters with the Earth, but it will probably not pose a real threat to humans. In total, there are 89 dates in the future when this asteroid could threaten the Earth.

It is worth noting that 2007 FT3 is not the first and not the last asteroid discovered by Earth-based astronomers. Currently, there are more than 32,000 near-Earth asteroids and more than 120 short-period near-Earth comets. Each of these space objects is capable of causing some damage to the Earth if it does not fly by or if it cannot be knocked out of a dangerous orbit in time.

One of the truly dangerous asteroids, an object known as 29075 (1950 DA), was discovered in 1950 and then lost for 50 years. Now, according to NASA's calculations, the probability that it will fall to Earth is 0.0029% (or 1 in 34,500). However, this can happen only in the distant future - in March 2880.

Earlier, OBOZ.UA reported that five large asteroids are hurtling towards the Earth.

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