An asteroid in 2040 will not impact Earth.
Asteroid 2011 AG5 is expected to fly by Earth in the year 2040. Scientists were worried that the 460-foot wide posed a threat, but new observations show that the asteroid in 2040 will not come close to hitting the earth.
Space.com reports that 2011 AG5 was discovered last year and was considered to have a 1 in 500 chance of striking earth. Scientists now believe that there is no chance that the asteroid will crash into the planet.
“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.”
NASA has been observing the object as it hurls through space with the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii. Scientists now believe that the asteroid will not get any closer than 550,000 miles, or twice the distance to the moon, when it passes by the planet in 2040.
Richard Wainscoat, a member of the team that observed the asteroid, said:
“These were extremely difficult observations of a very faint object. We were surprised by how easily the Gemini telescope was able to recover such a faint asteroid so low in the sky.”Just because it is a large asteroid, doesn’t mean it is easy to see, scientists said. Researchers used the Gemini North to photograph the asteroid three times in October.
NASA has been doing a lot of doomsday debunking recently. The space agency released multiple reports before December 21, 2012 in order to reassure people that the Earth was not going to end. The space agency is really getting ahead of the game now to make sure that no one panics as 2040 approaches.