Don’t Panic! Asteroid You Would’ve Never Heard of Otherwise Won’t Destroy Earth

Looks like you’ll need to keep saving for retirement: NASA has announced that incoming asteroid 2011AG5 will not impact Earth during a 2040 flyby, So no need to worry about that thing you had no idea might end life on Earth in the first place.

Via CNN:

Uncertainties about the orbit of the asteroid, known as 2011 AG5, previously allowed for a less than a 1% chance it would hit the Earth in February 2040, NASA said.

To narrow down the asteroid’s future course, NASA put out a call for more observation. Astronomers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa took up the task and managed to observe the asteroid over several days in October.

“An analysis of the new data conducted by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, shows that the risk of collision in 2040 has been eliminated,” NASA declared Friday.

The new observations, made with the Gemini 8-meter telescope in Mauna Kea, Hawaii, reduce the orbit uncertainties by more than a factor of 60. That means the Earth’s position in February 2040 is not in range of the asteroid’s possible future paths.

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2 Comments on "Don’t Panic! Asteroid You Would’ve Never Heard of Otherwise Won’t Destroy Earth"

  1. Anarchy Pony | Dec 22, 2012 at 8:54 pm |

    But when do we get to go live in O’Neil Cylinders?

  2. kowalityjesus | Dec 23, 2012 at 8:33 pm |

    I just thought of the most boring super-villain ever. A super-rich man or wommon builds a space program in order to fly to an asteroid and nudge it onto a collision course with Earth.

    The plot unfolds over decades during which the villain is born again but dies in a car crash on his way to the White House to tell the president of his evil folly. Then its all up to Bruce Willis.

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