A huge asteroid hit the Earth in 2040?

The theme of the asteroid was on the agenda during the 49th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), held last month in Vienna.
UN team which monitors near-Earth objects (NEO) noted that after 28 years of re-asteroid will approach the Earth, and perhaps there is a collision.

"2011 AG5 - an object that currently has the potential to collide with the Earth in 2040 .... Nevertheless, we observed only a part of the orbit, thus the confidence in these calculations is not very high, "- said Detlef Koschni from the European Space Agency in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

Their initiative group concluded that the likelihood of a "real" threat yet to be confirmed. Koschni reads that in order to make definite conclusions more research is needed, the first of which will be monitored by one, and maybe even two full orbits of the asteroid.

He also noted that the working group will recommend NEO of COPUOS proceed to active study in 2011 AG5.
"Currently we are in the process of creating institutions such as the European Southern Observatory to study this object", - said Koschni. "We hope to convince them that the asteroid deserves spent telescope time».

The probability that an asteroid encounter with our planet, according to estimates of astronomers, is 1 to 625, and it will happen February 5, 2040. But such claims it is too early to be accurate, said Donald Yeomans, head of the monitoring of near-Earth objects at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Astronomers were able to observe an asteroid only nine months of 2011, the numbers can change in the course of further observations.

Yeomans said that to conclude whether or not to take any action to avoid a collision, it will be possible in the years 2013-2016, when the object can be observed from Earth.


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