Published on Monday, 21 October 2013 00:00
Many predictions made by “credible sources” that pinpoint a date or a year where the Earth and everything we know could cease to end have so far been proven to be false after the supposed end-of-the-world-day passed by without much mishaps save for the usual killing, arson, rape, and starvation going around on a daily basis. Recently, a new prediction has been made that a large asteroid could probably, maybe, possibly collide into Earth in 2032, though there is not much need for panicking because the calculated risk is minimal.
According to the International Astronomer Union's Minor Planet Center, astronomers from the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in southern Ukraine discovered a 410-meter-wide minor planet which has been named 2013 TV135 traveling in the direction of Earth just two weeks ago.
On 17 October, the discovery was confirmed by five more astronomy groups, which include Italy, Spain, the UK, and Russia's Siberian republic of Buryatia.
The asteroid has been classified to be potentially hazardous. If you are not familiar with astronomy terms, “potentially hazardous” is basically a formal tag given to celestial bodies whose obits bring them closer than 7.5 million km from our home planet's orbit.
According to estimates though, as “potentially hazardous” as it has been classified, the asteroid only has a 1 in 63,000 chance of crashing into Earth. The odds don't particularly look very good for the asteroid.
Timur Kryachko of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory told RIA Novosti that astronomers will be able to better evaluate the impact risk of the asteroid, and even determine its possible impact site on Earth but only in 2028.
“Here’s a super-task for our space industry,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who has lobbied for Russia to develop asteroid defense systems, said of the asteroid on Twitter.
The 2013 TV135 has been given a 1 out of 10 rating on the Torino Scale, which estimates asteroid impact hazards. Only one other asteroid currently has the same rating, with collision risks for all others being “effectively zero,” according to NASA’s Near Earth Object Program.
If the 2013 TV135 asteroid managed to beat the odds and collide into Earth in 2032, it will create an explosion estimated to be equivalent to 2,500 megatons of TNT, or 50 times greater than the biggest nuclear bomb ever detonated.