Skip to comments."All Clear" Given on Potential 2040 Impact of Asteroid 2011 AG5
Posted on 12/24/2012 10:43:12 AM PST by BenLurkin
NASA scientists have announced that new observations of 2011 AG5 show that this asteroid, once thought to have a worrisome potential to threaten Earth, no longer poses a significant risk of impact. The orbital uncertainties of the 140m diameter near-Earth asteroid had previously allowed a 0.2% chance of collision in Feb. 2040, leading to a call for more observations to better constrain the asteroid's future course.
... Richard Wainscoat and Marco Micheli used the Gemini 8-meter telescope at Mauna Kea, Hawaii to successfully recover and observe the small and very faint asteroid on October 20, 21 and 27, 2012. In addition to improving our knowledge of the orbit, the Gemini observations also suggest the asteroid varies in brightness as it rotates and therefore may be elongated. ...In addition to the Gemini measurements, Tholen, Micheli and Garrett Elliott obtained less conclusive observations on October 9 & 10 with the University of Hawaii 2.2-meter telescope, also situated on the summit of Mauna Kea. After extensive astrometric analysis by the team in Hawaii, all observations were then sent to the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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. The updated trajectory of 2011 AG5 is not significantly different, but the new observations have reduced the orbit uncertainties by more than a factor of 60, meaning that the Earth's position in February 2040 no longer falls within the range of possible future paths for the asteroid. With the updated orbit, the asteroid will pass no closer than 890,000 km (over twice the distance to the moon) in Feb. 2040, the epoch of the prior potential collision.
(Excerpt) Read more at neo.jpl.nasa.gov ...
Hope it gets well soon!
Oh Goody goody, that means we can spend another 16 trillion.
What time will he be speaking to the nation and taking credit for this?
Our govt spends vast fortunes on things that are not Constitutional.
An asteroid strike has in the past and will again devastate the planet.
Not sure if it is technically possible yet. But if so; one would think we should spend some money to somehow intercept one of these.
Yes. Governments and the UN should focus on those large tasks that only they can handle. Instead of fiddle-farting around with phoney human rights commissions and climate change the scientific bodies in various countries should collaborate on how to stop an asteroid or comet from destroying this miserable little planet.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.